Former Water Dept director allegedly received RM51.7 million – witness

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Abdullah Sani

KOTA KINABALU (May 15): The Sabah Water Department corruption trial today heard that a former director of Water Department had allegedly received corruption money of RM51,710,755.09 from 2005 to 2016.

Abdullah Sani A. Latib, 38, who was testifying before judge Abu Bakar Manat, said that the alleged corruption money within the said years involved allocations of RM2,154,614,795.59.

In his witness statement, Abdullah Sani, who is currently Director of Integrity and Governance at the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission Department, further testified that the alleged amount of corruption money received by Ag Mohd Tahir Mohd Talib, 59, was based on investigation on Teo Chee Kong, Ag Mohd Tahir’s former deputy director, and also based on supporting document that was seized by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Under examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat, the 46th and last witness for the prosecution explained that the supporting document namely ‘HQ List Schedule’ seized from Teo, stated the records of the alleged corruption money received.

To a question, Abdullah Sani said that Teo had recorded the alleged bribe payments with code PJA referring to “Pengarah Jabatan Air”.

He further testified that based on the witnesses’ statements and evidence obtained, there was a violation under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009.

Abdullah Sani, who is one of the investigating officers for this case, testified that Ag Mohd Tahir had allegedly used his position as director to allegedly authorise expenditure allocations and allegedly instructed Teo to collect bribes from contractors in the said Water Department and in return, Ag Mohd Tahir allegedly accepted bribes from Teo and one Micheal Wong for himself.

The witness further said that there was also a violation of Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds Unlawful Activities Act 2001 allegedly by Ag Mohd Tahir and his wife Fauziah Hj Piut.

To another question, Abdullah Sani explained that the investigation into employment records and income tax payment records showed that Ag Mohd Tahir did not have any source of business income apart from his salary as director.

As for Fauziah, he testified among other that in a raid conducted by a MACC raiding team, she allegedly had knowledge and control over all the high-value jewelry items that were found and confiscated, which allegedly belonged to her.

Ag Mohd Tahir, Fauziah, 57, and former deputy director of State Water Department, Lim Lam Beng, 68, were jointly tried for alleged money laundering offences involving cash, bank savings as well as an alleged unlawful possession of luxurious items.

The former director faces 11 charges while Fauziah faces 19 charges under under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Fauziah has another two joint charges with her husband under Section 4 (1)(b) also of the same Act and Ag Mohd Tahir also has another charge under Section 4(1)(a) of the same Act.

The alleged offences against Ag Mohd Tahir and his spouse were committed at an office here, a house in Sembulan, at bank branches, at a condominium, in Sulaman and a tower in Kuala Lumpur between October 4 and November 4, 2016.

Lim was alleged to have committed the offences at the MACC office at Jalan UMS and at a house here between October 13 and November 8, 2016.

Deputy public prosecutors Haresh Prakash Somiah and Zander Lim also handled the trial.
Counsel Priskila Akwila Sinem and Mohammed Fareez Mohammed Salleh represented Ag Mohd Tahir and Fauziah.

Counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, Baldev Singh, Karpaljit Singh and Kelvin Wong represented Lim.

The trial will resume tomorrow (May 16).