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Feb 20 hearing on RM32 million Water Dept scandal

14th February, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The High Court will hear on Feb 20 three revision applications filed by former Sabah State Water Department Deputy Director Teo Chee Kong who faces 146 counts of money laundering involving more than RM32 million.

Judge Ravinthran N. Paramaguru fixed the date when the matter was mention before him, yesterday. Counsel Nelson Angang who was one of the counsels represented Teo, informed the court that they were applying revisions against Orders made by the Sessions Court Judge Abu Bakar Manat.

He said the revisions were filed after their applications to recuse the presiding judge, objection to a joint trial and adducing of documents and footage CCTV recordings had been dismissed by the lower court.

First he said, Abu Bakar had on Jan 30, dismissed their application to recuse him from hearing Teo’s case.

Secondly, Nelson said they filed revision on the order of joint trial which was also made on Jan 30. He explained that Teo objects to the joint trial.

Another revision, is for the prosecution to produce certain documents including relevant footage of the CCTV recordings, before commencement of the trial which now has been fixed on March 3, this year. Previously the trial was scheduled to begin on Feb 21.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Rustam Sanip replied that the prosecution only came to know about the revision on Monday.

He said, this case is handled by another DPP from MACC in Putrajaya namely DPP Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abd Rahman and he is only standing in for DPP Tengku Amir.

He further told the court that he was instructed by DPP Tengku Amir to request another hearing date.

Teo, had on Dec 13, last year, claimed trial to 146 counts of money laundering involving more than RM32 million.

The first 78 charges against him were framed under Section 4 (1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering & Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 which liable to a fine not exceeding RM5 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both, upon conviction.

The charge stated that Teo was accused of possessing lands obtained from illegal activities through 78 transactions of transferring ownership worth RM12,705,203.70. The alleged offence took place between 2005 and 2016 at several land and district offices including the state Land and Survey Department in Wisma Tanah dan Ukur.

The remaining 68 charges against Teo stated that he allegedly committed six offences of having cash totalling RM7,930,810.48 (RM5,952,050 in Ringgit Malaysia and RM1,978,760.48 in estimated foreign currencies) from illegal activities and 62 offences of having money in a bank accounts totalling RM12,287,240.07 from illegal activities in eight financial institutions here and in Kuala Lumpur.

The offence allegedly took place between Oct 2016 and December 2016, at various bank branches in the city and places among others Pejabat Jurutera Air Bahagian Kota Kinabalu and Jabatan Organisasi dan Kaedah Menara PNB in Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur. Each charges framed under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 carries a jail term of up to 15 years and liability of a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities of an offence at the time the offence was committed or five million ringgit, whichever is higher, on conviction.

Teo was currently released on bail of RM1.5 million with RM500,000 deposited with two local sureties, pending disposal of his case.

Counsel Nelson was together with Ram Singh represented Teo, yesterday. – ECA

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