Sunday, August 1, 2021

No documents, receipts found for bungalow donation from Zahid’s foundation, witness says

He also agrees that the donation process of the bungalows was 'strange'.

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An investigating officer told the High Court yesterday he felt it was strange that there were no documents for contributions made by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akalbudi to Yayasan Al-Falah, chaired by his brother, Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi, with regards to the purchase of two bungalow lots in Country Heights, Kajang.

Mohd Tharuzi Mohd Nor, 40, said he found no documents such as cash transactions and donation receipts during the investigation into the case.

He said this during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi, on the 48th day of the trial against Zahid who faces charges of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving millions of ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

When asked if the donation process of the bungalows was strange, Tharuzi said yes.

Tharuzi, who is the 94th prosecution witness, said based on his investigation into the purchase of two property units in Country Heights, the RM5.9 million was allegedly paid by Yayasan Al-Falah to Bee Garden Holdings Sdn Bhd (the original owner of the units) through a cheque issued by Messrs Lewis & Co (Lewis & Co), the trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi belonging to Zahid.

He added that from his observations at the end of 2020 and last week, the gates of the two bungalows remained closed.

Tharuzi said his investigation also found that Zahid had received a total of seven cheques amounting to RM5 million from Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services, and one cheque for RM2 million from an individual named Mubarak Hussain. All the cheques were deposited into Lewis & Co’s account.

“The RM7 million was then used to buy two fixed deposit certificates amounting to RM5 million and RM2 million. Zahid then ordered B Muralidharan (partner at Lewis & Co) for the two fixed deposits to be uplifted.

“Of the RM7,019,680.07 (uplifted including interest), RM5.9 million was issued and paid to Bee Garden Holdings for the purchase of two bungalow lots while the rest was turned once again into a fixed deposit certificate,” he said, reading from his witness statement while showing a chart of the money trail to the court.

Meanwhile, 95th witness Mohd Fahmee Mohamad Nor, 39, an investigating officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said money changer Omar Ali, an individual accused of laundering money on behalf of Zahid, had not reported transactions of converting cash into cheques worth RM7.5 million to Bank Negara Malaysia.

“The money received by Omar Ali was converted into 35 cheques. Omar Ali’s friends, who wished to exchange, whether it be foreign currency, would get the currency by paying for it using a blank cheque,” he said when answering a question from deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffrey Ong during the examination-in-chief.

Earlier, when reading his witness statement, Moh Fahmee said the 35 cheques totalling RM 7.5 million from five banks were credited into Lewis & Co’s account.

Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving millions of ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

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