National Registration Department assistant director Mohd Faizul Arifin, 34; Mohd Faizal Tan Abdullah, 66, Yap Cheng Wah, 43; Loh Chan Cheong, 34, and Chien Guan Chai, 36, all pleaded not guilty to two charges under Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Act 670), while a businessman, Datuk Lai Chin Wah, 56, pleaded not guilty to three similar charges. (NSTP/DANIAL SAAD)

GEORGE TOWN: A Chinese national told the High Court here today that he was asked to pay RM600,000 for a Malaysian passport.

Wang De Qun, 58 said he wanted to obtain a Malaysian passport for investment immigration similar to that offered by certain countries.

He said a Thai national identified as Liu Ge, who he met through a friend in June last year, told him that he had contacts to obtain a Malaysian passport.

“Liu Ge assured me that he could get me a valid and legitimate passport.

“Initially, Liu Ge set the price at a huge sum of RM600,000 but after my financial manager negotiated with Liu Ge the price was reduced to RM400,000,”said the businessman during his testimony in the MyKad sale case.

Wang said after further discussion with Liu Ge, his financial manager paid RM200,000 to Liu Ge as a first payment.

“Liu Ge asked for the money in Malaysian Ringgit but my financial manager handed over the money in Hong Kong dollars and China Renminbi equivalent of RM200,000,” he added.

On Oct 3, Penang National Registration Department assistant director Mohd Faizul Arifin, 34; Mohd Faizal Tan Abdullah, 66, Yap Cheng Wah, 43; Loh Chan Cheong, 34, and Chien Guan Chai, 36, all pleaded not guilty to two charges under Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Act 670), while a businessman, Datuk Lai Chin Wah, 56, pleaded not guilty to three similar charges.

The charges against Mohd Faizul were for fraudulently issuing birth certificates and identity cards under the name of Ewe Chor Beng to facilitate the smuggling of migrants at the Penang National Registration Department Headquarters, Bangunan Persekutuan, Jalan Anson, here between January and February 2019.

Mohd Faizal Tan, Yap, Loh and Chien were charged with two counts each of selling birth certificates and identity cards under the same name (Ewe Chor Beng) in the George Town area during the same period.

Lai was charged with three counts of selling the birth certificates, identity cards and passports under the same name in George Town between January and March 2019.

All charges were framed under Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, which provides an imprisonment of up to 15 years and fine of not less than RM50,000, or both, if found guilty.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yusaini Amer Abul Karim prosecuted.

Wang said Liu Ge contacted him in August or September 2018 and informed him that he had made contacts with a person named Lai Chin Wah in Malaysia.

He said he believed that Liu Ge had paid Lai about RM100,000 from the sum, but then qualified that he did not know the exact sum Lai had received.

“In September or October 2018, Li Ge told me that the procedure for passport application was ready and asked me to come to Malaysia.

“When I got to Malaysia, Liu Ge asked me to meet Lai at a hotel.

“During the meeting with Lai, I was told that the application had been prepared but due to unavoidable reasons, the application could not be processed at that time. So I went back to China,” he said.

Wang then identified Lai from the six accused sitting in the dock.

Wang said he met with Lai again in December and was taken to a government building to meet an “officer”. He said at the officer’s office, he was asked to sign a document.

“I do not know what document I signed because I do not understand English or Bahasa Malaysia but I believe it was a legitimate document for passport application,” he said, before identifying Faizul, who was sitting on in the dock, as the “officer”.

Wang said Lai asked him to come back to Malaysia again in March and took him to another government building, where he was told he would be able to apply for his passport.

“Before that, Lai gave me a card (Mykad) which he told me I would need to make my passport.

“I did not understand the content of the card but since there was my picture there I accepted the explanation from Lai.

"Lai took me into a building, which he told me is a government building and that the passport made there was true and valid in law,” he said, adding that he received his passport in March.

Wang claimed he did not realise that the names on Mykad and passport were that of Ewe Chor Beng.

He said he only realised it was under a different name when he was arrested in Penang International Airport in August this year.

Hearing continues tomorrow.