Former pol-sec claims trial to RM1.1 mln fraud involving sale of land


Photo shows the Miri Court Complex. — Photo by Jenifer Laeng

MIRI (April 2): A former political secretary to the chief minister claimed trial in the Magistrates’ Court here today to seven counts of fraud in relation to the sale of land involving losses exceeding RM1.1 million.

Robert Ayu, 61, pleaded not guilty before magistrate Randu Rangen after the charges under Section 420 of the Penal code were read to him by a court interpreter.

The Section provides for imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than 10 years, whipping and also liable to a fine, for each charge upon conviction.

According to the facts of the case, Robert from Jalan Grand Park 2A, Jalan Airport here allegedly deceived a married couple and a company in the sale of a plot of land in the Lambir area, resulting in the couple and the company to hand over money, via their lawyers, in the form of six cheques and one online transaction amounting to RM1,152,688.00.

The offences were allegedly committed at a legal firm at Miri Waterfront Commercial Centre and at a premises in Jalan Kwang Tung here, between May 27, 2015 and Feb 12, 2020.

Prosecuting officer Insp Mudzilawati Abdul Rahman proposed bail of RM100,000 with two local sureties for all seven charges; however Robert’s lawyers Zainuranisa Bani and Nico Langgie Ngumbang appealed for bail of RM500 for each charge in view that their client was declared bankrupt in 2021 and is currently experiencing financial difficulties.

The magistrate set bail at RM1,500 with one local surety for each charge and fixed May 15 for trial.

Robert, who is a former lawyer, was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court, and to report to the investigating officer every month until the conclusion of the case.

The accused was appointed a political secretary to the chief minister in 2018 and reappointed the following year for a term of 15 months.