Monday, November 29, 2021

Company, ex-director claim trial to bribery in first commercial graft case

If convicted, Pristine Offshore Sdn Bhd faces a fine of not less than 10 times the sum of gratification or RM1 million, imprisonment of up to 20 years or both.

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Ship chartering company Pristine Offshore Sdn Bhd pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court in Shah Alam today to offering a bribe to ensure the company was awarded a subcontract in oil exploration work.

It is the first commercial organisation in the country to be charged under Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act which was gazetted on June 1 last year to directly impose corporate liability on commercial organisations for corruption and dishonest commercial misconduct.

The company’s representative, director Abdul Kamal Mohd Mydeen, 70, made the plea after the charge, framed under Section 17A (1)(a) of the MACC Act, was read out to him before judge Rozilah Salleh.

According to the charge, Pristine Offshore, in association with its then-director, Chew Ben Ben, 64, corruptly gave RM321,350 to Deleum Primera Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Mazrin Ramli, 41, as a reward to secure the subcontract.

The offence was allegedly committed between June 29, 2020 and Oct 14, 2020 in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong.

The company faces a fine of not less than 10 times the sum or value of the gratification or RM1 million, whichever is higher, imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both upon conviction.

Rozilah allowed the company, represented by lawyers Bernard Francis, Chong Ki Keong and Azim Razak, bail of RM200,000 with one surety.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib prosecuted.

Earlier in the same court, Chew pleaded not guilty to a charge of corruptly giving the RM321,350 bribe to Mazrin between June 29, 2020 and Oct 14, 2020 in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong.

The charge was framed under Section 16 (b)(A) of the MACC Act.

He was allowed bail of RM150,000 with one surety and told to surrender his passport to the court.

The court set May 25 for mention of both cases.

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