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High-end shopping sprees by Zahid and wife paid for with funds from charity outfit, court told

The prosecution says over RM31 million was eventually misappropriated from Yayasan Akalbudi and used for various purposes.

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Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today. Photo: Bernama
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today. Photo: Bernama

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur was today told that former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had used over RM1.3 million in Yayasan Akalbudi funds to pay for his credit card charges for shopping at luxury stores like Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Hermes.

Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran said Zahid and his wife, Hamidah Khamis, had spend the amount (over RM1.3 million) for shopping in just two years.

She said the extensive use of the credit cards for purchases at high-end department stores around the world and locally could be seen through the monthly credit card statements.

“Although the spending habit of the accused and his wife may not be an issue in the case, one cannot help but wonder if they had in mind the poor folks in Malaysia as they went on their shopping spree at stores like at Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Hermes,” she added.

Raja Rozela said this in her submission at the end of the prosecution’s case against Zahid, who is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

She said Ambank senior vice-president Yeoh Eng Leong, the 10th prosecution witness, had confirmed that based on the exhibited credit card statements, the total amount of payment the bank received from January 2014 to January 2016 was RM1,296,715.98.

“From January to December 2014 it was RM534,412.52; RM708,134.47 for January to December 2015 and RM54,168.99 in January 2016,” she added.

She said the ninth prosecution witness, Maybank vice-president (fraud and dispute management) Anoop Singh Gulzara Singh, had verified the receipt of six payments totalling RM30,771.19 (between February and October 2014), one payment in March 2015 for RM3,914.84, and another in July 2015 for RM30,635.80.

Raja Rozela said Zahid also used funds from Yayasan Akalbudi to pay the road tax and insurance of 20 vehicles belonging to him, his wife, BZ Motors and Juhari Janan between January and September 2015.

“The total amount involved was RM107,508.55. None of the vehicles belonged to Yayasan Akalbudi,” she added.

Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges – 12 of CBT, eight of corruption, and 27 of money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

The submission continues before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.