Sunday, July 3, 2022

Syed Saddiq discussed missing RM250,000 in WhatsApp group, MACC man tells court

MACC investigating officer Muhammad Taufik Awaludin says Syed Saddiq discussed the statement to be issued to the media about the missing cash.

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court was today told that Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had discussed with the members of a WhatsApp group a statement to be issued to the media about a total of RM250,000 which went missing from his home.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Muhammad Taufik Awaludin said the WhatsApp group’s conversation was obtained from a forensic report taken from a mobile phone belonging to Rafiq Hakim Razali, who was the then assistant treasurer of Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada).

“In the WhatsApp group as well, Syed Saddiq discussed the narrative to be issued to the media about the missing money.

“At the end of the discussion in the WhatsApp group, Syed Saddiq did not agree with the suggestions proposed by the group members and decided to issue a statement saying that the money belonged to him and his parents,” he said.

Taufik, the first prosecution witness, said this during re-examination by deputy public prosecutors Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Muhammad Asyraf Mohamed Tahir on the first day of the trial of the Muar MP, who faces four charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering.

He also disagreed with lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing Syed Saddiq, that the RM250,000 was from Syed Saddiq’s parents for house renovation.

When asked why he did not agree, he said there had also been a discussion in the WhatsApp group saying that the money was from a discretionary fund previously applied for by Syed Saddiq.

“After that, Syed Saddiq discussed about the media statement that needed to be issued and Syed Saddiq chose to lodge a police report and issue a media statement on the matter.”

Wan Shaharuddin: Your investigation into the loss of money at Syed Saddiq’s house, is it related to the charge of withdrawing RM1 million?

Taufik: Yes.

When referred to the police report lodged by Syed Saddiq, Taufik said the report stated that at 7.51pm on March 29, 2020, about RM250,000 in cash kept in a safe at his house had been stolen.

“There was no sign of it being forced open while the condition of his house was tidy and only certain people knew the combination code,” he added.

Taufik said Syed Saddiq’s parents had also lodged a police report on the missing money.

Syed Saddiq was charged as Bersatu’s then Youth chief, entrusted with the control of the wing’s funds, with abetting Rafiq Hakim Razali, the wing’s assistant treasurer at the time, with CBT of RM1 million.

He was accused of committing the offence at CIMB Bank, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, on March 6, 2020, charged under Section 406 of the Penal Code which provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years and a whipping, with the possibility of a fine upon conviction.

For the second charge, Syed Saddiq was accused of misusing property for himself, namely RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise by causing Rafiq to dispose of the money.

He was accused of committing the offence at Malayan Banking, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya between April 8 and 21, 2018, and charged under Section 403 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of between six months and five years, with whipping and a fine upon conviction.

He also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering activities, in two transactions of RM50,000 believed to be the proceeds of unlawful activities from his Maybank Islamic account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account.

Syed Saddiq was accused of committing the offence at a bank in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Bahru, on June 16 and 19, 2018.

The charges were framed under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, punishable under Section 4 (1) of the same law, which provides for a maximum imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or the proceeds of illegal activities, upon conviction.

The trial before judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid continues.

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