Friday, June 18, 2021

Aide to former Malaysia’s minister charged with accepting $750,000 bribe

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The senior private secretary of a former minister was charged in the Sessions Court here today with 18 counts of accepting and soliciting RM3,129,015 in bribes from a company owner to secure an advertising tender under the tourism, arts and culture ministry.

Mohd Saifullah Mohd Minggu @ Mohd Hisham, 29, pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him before judge Azman Ahmad.

His fiancée, Nurfadziana Abdul Kadir, 28, claimed trial to a charge of abetting Saifullah in the offence by accepting a bribe of RM232,000.

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The offences were allegedly committed around Kuala Lumpur at the Red Box Karaoke and Coffee Bean outlets at the Pavilion shopping mall, Putra World Trade Centre, Vipod Residences, Maybank Taman Tun Dr Ismail branch, Wisma Genting and at his office at the tourism ministry in Putrajaya, between Jan 19 and July 29, 2019.

The prosecution was conducted by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor Farah Yasmin Salleh while counsel Md Yunos Sharif represented the two accused

Saifullah was charged with 14 counts of accepting for himself cash amounting to RM2,871,500 from the owner of Inter Bev Network, Ronald Seto Kong Seng, through Roslan Lahada and Abdul Halim Khuajah.

This was as an inducement to help Inter Bev Network secure the branding and creative services tender for the Tourism Malaysia advertising campaign as well as the purchase of advertising space service for North and East Asia.

The accused was also alleged to have promised Plan B Digital Sdn Bhd that he would secure the RFP-global advertising agency and promotion for Tourism Malaysia tender.

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On another three counts, Saifullah was charged with soliciting from Ronald through Roslan payment of deposit and rental for a unit at Vipod Residences here amounting to RM20,015 and receiving the payment through a Maybank cheque.

He was also charged with receiving a RM5,500 bribe from Ronald through Rosland, for rental payment of the same house, through a fund transfer via Maybank.

Saifullah was also accused of receiving a bribe of RM232,000 from Ronald through his fiancée, Nurfadziana, in connection with the same matter, for which she was charged with abetting.

Saifullah was charged with committing all the offences under Section 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 while Nurfadziana was charged under Section 28 (1).

The offences, punishable under Section 24 of the same act, carry a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of five times the value of the offence committed or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The court allowed Saifullah bail of RM200,000 with one surety. He was also told to surrender his passport to the court on or before Sept 2 and to report to the nearest MACC office on the first week of each month while Nurfadziana was allowed bail of RM100,000 with the same conditions.

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