KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 – Youth and Sports Ministry’s former finance division’s secretary and three others, including a husband and wife, were charged in the Sessions Court here today with 191 counts of money laundering totalling RM16.623 million. Otman Arshad, together with Halmi Khalid, Abdul Gafar Abdurahiman and his wife Siti Rohanah Hussein, pleaded not guilty to all counts read separately before Judge Allaudeen Ismail, Judge Mohd Nasir Nordin and Judge Sohaini Alias.
Otman, 57, was charged with 64 counts of receiving money amounting to RM16.623 million as a revenue from the unlawful activities, which were deposited into his Maybank, RHB and CIMB accounts through cheques made between March 7, 2012 and Dec 11, 2015.
Abdul Gafar, 42, a sports equipment company director affiliated to the ministry, and his wife Siti Rohanah, 42, a housewife, were each charged with 63 counts of transferring RM15.723 million which was the revenue from unlawful activities from their three companies’ bank accounts to a bank account owned by Otman for the same period of time.
The three accused had allegedly committed the offense at different locations, namely RHB Bank branch in Precinct 8, Putrajaya; Menara Maybank Jalan Tun Perak and Maybank branch Jalan Raja Laut. They were charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA) which carries a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment up to five years, or both, if convicted.
They were also charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities 2001 (AMLATFAPUAA) which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years and fine of not less than five times the sum of the unlawful activity’s proceeds, if convicted.
Meanwhile, Halmi, 35, was charged with transferring RM900,000 to Otman’s account at RHB Bank Plaza Damas 3, Sri Hartamas here on Dec 10, 2015 under Section 4(1)(b) of AMLATFAPUAA 2001. Judge Allaudeen set bail for Otman at RM100,000 with one surety while Halmi was allowed bail of RM60,000 bail with one surety.
May 31 was set for remention. Judge Mohd Nasir and Judge Sohaini allowed Abdul Gafar and Siti Rohanah each bail at RM70,000 with one surety for all charges and fixed May 24 for remention. The judges also ordered them to surrender their passports to the court.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi, who handled all the cases offered bail at RM500,000 in one surety for all the charges for each accused with regards to the amount of money involved. Counsel Fahmi Abd Moin represented Otman, while Halmi was represented by counsel Ridha Abdah Subri.
Abdul Gafar and Siti Rohanah were both represented by counsel Wan Azmir Wan Majid. On March 31, Otman, who is being suspended from duty, pleaded not guilty to 32 counts of misusing his position and submitting false claims involving RM38.4 million. Judge Allaudeen had set the trial to begin on Sept 7.