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Money laundering trial of former Felda boss begins

Shahrir Samad is charged with failing to declare RM1 million received from Najib Razak to the Inland Revenue Board.

2 minute read
Former Felda chairman Shahrir Samad. Photo: Bernama
Former Felda chairman Shahrir Samad. Photo: Bernama

The prosecution in the case of Shahrir Samad, who is charged with failing to declare RM1 million received from Najib Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), today said it would prove that the former Felda chairman was directly involved in money laundering activities when he obtained the money from the former prime minister.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali said there were oral testimonies from prosecution witnesses to prove how Shahrir obtained the money which was deposited into his Public Islamic bank account through a cheque dated Nov 27, 2013.

"There is also testimony that the accused did not report his actual income in the income tax return form for assessment year 2013, which proves that the accused directly involved himself in a transaction that involved the proceeds of an unlawful activity," he said, reading the prosecution’s opening statement on the first day of the trial before High Court judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin.

Shahrir was charged with money laundering by failing to state his real income in the income tax return form, a violation of Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, on the RM1 million, believed to be from unlawful activities, which he received from Najib. 

The cheque was deposited into Shahrir’s Public Islamic Bank account on Nov 28, 2013.
He was charged with committing the offence at LHDN, Duta Branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim on April 25, 2014.

The charge, framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million, imprisonment of up to five years, or both, upon conviction.

Afif said the prosecution would call all relevant witnesses to prove its case against the accused either through direct or indirect evidence.

Shahrir, wearing a black suit, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex at about 8.20am.

Deputy public prosecutors Rasyidah Murni Azmi and Natrah Fareha Rahmat also appeared for the prosecution.

At today’s proceedings, Shahrir was represented by lawyers Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, Syed Faisal Al-Edros Syed Abdullah Al-Edros, Dzulkifli Ahmad who is also the former chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Syahrul Syazwan Salehin and Shazreen Mohd Hatta.

After reading the opening statement, the prosecution called its first witness, Parliamentary Affairs Division senior assistant administrative officer, Rosli Mat Jinun, 49, to testify.