Crime & Courts

Company director gets 15 years, 9 lashes for cheating six contractors over multimillion ringgit projects

KOTA KINABALU: A company director was sentenced to a total of 15 years' imprisonment plus nine strokes of the rotan for seven counts of cheating over multimillion ringgit projects.

Mohammad Shah Soep, 41, who was brought before two separate magistrate's courts today, pleaded guilty to all charges against him.

He had cheated six contractors to hand over a total of RM660,000 purportedly to secure projects between Feb 25 and Nov 4, 2020 at several hotels and a house, here.

The money was handed over to the accused either by cheque or bank transfer.

For the first until sixth charges, magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun sentenced him to 24 months plus one stroke each, ordering the jail sentences to run consecutively.

On the seventh count, Shah appeared before Senior Assistant Registrar Abdurrahman Abrar Jarni and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment plus three strokes.

He was also fined RM3,000 in default six months' imprisonment.

Abdurrahman also ordered Shah to run his custodial sentence from the date of arrest on Jan 7, this year.

Each charge under Section 420 of the Penal Code carries a jail term of between one and 10 years, with whipping and liability of a fine on conviction.

The facts of the case among others stated that the accused offered the projects to the victims and requested them to pay a sum of money to get the projects.

The so-called projects were replacing streetlights all over Sabah as well as cleaning works in the Sipitang Oil and Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP).

After months of waiting, the victims finally sensed they were being conned as they could not get in touch with the accused. They lodged police reports which led to his arrest.

During mitigation, the unrepresented accused asked for his imprisonment term to run concurrently, saying among others that he has young children.

The prosecution, however, urged for a deterrent sentence as a lesson to the accused.

Inspectors Albert Basiri and Navind Kumar Vijayan prosecuted the case before Jessica and Abdurrahman, respectively.

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