Crime & Courts

[Updated] Former cooperative chief pleads not guilty to corruption and money laundering charges

ALOR STAR: A former cooperative chairman today pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to two counts of corruption and a money laundering charge involving hundreds of thousands of ringgit between 2016 and 2017.

Datuk Mazlan Hashim, 65, a former Pembangunan Darulaman Kedah Bhd Cooperative chairman, claimed trial after the charges were read by the court interpreter before judge Rohatul Akmar Abdullah.

For the first charge, he is accused of soliciting a 10 per cent bribe for a project valued at RM9.7 million from Smart SL Technology Sdn Bhd director.

The RM970,000 kickback was solicited as an inducement to assist the company in securing a tender to design, supply, build, receive, and certify a 1MWp Solar Farm & Green House on Lot 3375 located at Padang Kerbau in Sungai Tiang, Pendang, from MyAngkasa Services Sdn Bhd, where he also acted as a director.

He is alleged to have committed the offence at Level 1, Susuran Sosenati, Pusat Perniagaan Sosenati here in November 2016.

The accused also pleaded not guilty to a charge of accepting RM274,608 bribe from Smart SL Technology Sdn Bhd director through an Affin Islamic Bank account belonging to the cooperative, as a reward for assisting the company in obtaining the tender.

The alleged offence took place on Jan 19, 2017, at Affin Islamic Bank Bhd's branch in Alor Star.

The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 (Act 694), punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act.

The charge carries imprisonment of not more than 20 years and a fine not less than five times the amount of bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Mazlan later pleaded not guilty to the third charge of transferring RM265,000 proceeds from an illegal activity from the cooperative's account to his personal account with Affin Islamic Bank Bhd.

The charge was framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA), punishable under Section 4(1) of the same Act.

The charge carries up to 15 years' jail term and a fine not less than five times the amount of proceeds from an illegal activity or RM5 million, whichever is higher.

MACC deputy public prosecutor Farah Ezlin Yusop Khan and Maziah Mohaidee prosecuted, while lawyer Mohd Zaharudeen Harun represented the accused.

The prosecution later informed the court that the accused was earlier slapped with three counts of charges under the MACC Act 2009 at Shah Alam Sessions Court in Selangor on Jan 22.

Farah Ezlin told the court that the Shah Alam Sessions Court had set RM30,000 bail for the accused.

Therefore, she urged the court to apply the same bail amount for today's charges, and the cases to be transferred to the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

The court subsequently granted the application as the defense did not object to the request.

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