‘Datuk’ charged with submitting false documents involving MITRA programme funds

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — A company director with the title ‘Datuk’ was charged at the Sessions Court here today with 35 counts of making false claims involving Malaysian Indian Community Transformation Unit (MITRA) funds last year amounting to RM276,625.

Datuk Reghu P.V. Bhaskaran, 61, pleaded not guilty to all 35 counts before Judge Azura Alwi.

Reghu was charged with submitting false documents to MITRA Assistant Director of Education and Training R. Kavithah that involved among others, a list of participants, payment vouchers and invoices in relation to a MITRA training programme that never actually took place.

The accused is alleged to have an interest in the programme worth RM950,160 allocated under the MITRA 2019 financial grant.

He is accused of committing the offences at the MITRA office in Putrajaya on May 5 last year and charged under Section 18 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Reghu also claimed trial under Section 417 of the Penal Code to 23 alternative counts of cheating involving RM100,625 in which he faces five years imprisonment or a fine or both upon conviction.

MACC Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali asked the court to impose bail at RM50,000 with one surety with the additional condition that the accused reports to the MACC office once a month.

Reghu’s lawyer, Firman Mohd Sidek, however, urged for bail to be set at RM10,000 on the grounds that his client’s bank account had been frozen.

The court set bail at RM25,000 with one surety and ordered the accused to pay up RM10,000 today and the rest by next Wednesday, and fixed March 21 for mention of the case.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency