Abdul Azeez pleads not guity to corruption, money laundering charges involving more than RM145m

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16): Baling Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here today to charges with accepting bribes, totalling RM5.2 million, in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah, and nine counts of money laundering, involving nearly RM140 million.

Abdul Azeez, 52, made the plea after the charges were read out separately before judge Azura Alwi.

On the first charge, Abdul Azeez was charged with corruptly receiving for himself RM1.2 million through his CIMB Bank Berhad  account from Mohammad Redzuan Mohanan Abdullah, who is a director of Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd, as gratification for helping the company  to secure projects from the government through direct negotiation and limited tender, all worth RM197,805,750.18. 

They are for road projects from Jalan Air Kuning to Kampung Gajah, Daerah Batang Padang, Perak, and Jalan Kampung Merbau Kudung/Felda Teloi Timur, Sik, Kedah.

The offence was allegedly committed at CIMB Bank,  Menara UAB branch, No. 6, Jalan Tun Perak, City Centre, here on Dec 8, 2010.

On the second and third charge, Abdul Azeez was charged with corruptly receiving for himself RM4 million from the same person as gratification to Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd to secure a road project, Pantai Baru Coastal Expressway Project: Upgrading Works of Federal Road FT005 (Teluk Intan to Kampung Lekir, Perak), worth RM644,480,000, through limited tender from the Malaysian Works Ministry.

The offence was allegedly committed at Affin Bank Berhad, J-03-G, Block J, Setiawalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Petaling, Selangor, on June 13, 2017 and April 10, 2018.

Meanwhile, Abdul Azeez’s brother, Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Rahim, 61, pleaded not guilty to two counts of abetting Abdul Azeez in committing the alleged offences.

He was charged with committing the offence at ​​​​​​​Affin Bank Berhad, J-03-G, Block J, Setiawalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Petaling, Selangor, between June 13, 2017 and April 10, 2018.

The charges against Abdul Azeez were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, while the charges against Abdul Latif were made under Section 28(1)(c) of the same law.

They faced an imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor, appeared for the prosecution team and he was assisted by deputy public prosecutor ​​​​​​​Ahmad Akram Gharib, while Abdul Azeez and Abdul Latif were represented by lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and Datuk Seri Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos. 

For the money laundering case, the matter was mentioned before Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob.

On the first to the fifth count, Abdul Azeez was charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activities, involving RM1,910,000; RM670,000; RM4,131,104.60; RM783,900 and RM1,483,900 from Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd.

On the sixth count, he was charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activities for the amount totalling RM8,183,900 from three companies, namely Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd (RM183,900.00), Mangkubumi Sdn Bhd  (RM6,000,000.00) and Pintas Utama Sdn Bhd (RM2,000,000.00).

For the seventh count, Abdul Azeez was charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activities, totalling RM33,363,885.25, from the same companies – Menuju Asas (RM6,263,885.25), Mangkubumi (RM17,200,000.00) and Pintas Utama  (RM9,900,000.00).

On the eighth count, he was charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activities, totalling ​​​​​​​RM63,639,975, from four companies and they were Menuju Asas (RM17,269,975.00), Mangkubumi  (RM31,600,000.00), Pintas Utama  (RM8,000,000.00) and AVP Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd (RM6,770,000.00).

He was also charged with receiving a total of RM25,250,000 in proceeds from unlawful activities from the same companies – Menuju Asas (RM4,630,000.00), Mangkubumi (RM16,000,000.00), Pintas Utama (RM2,500,000.00) and AVP Engineering (RM2,120,000.00).

All the offences were allegedly committed in the Klang Valley between March 8, 2010 and Aug 30, 2018.

The charges were framed under Section  4(1)(b) of Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-. Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act  (AMLATFPUAA) 2001, which provides an imprisonment for up to 15 years and fine of not less than five times the value of the proceeds obtained or RM5 million, whichever is higher, if found guilty.