Zahid’s trial: Companies linked to case had no business activities, but huge amount of transactions recorded

(The True Net) – Three companies linked to the corruption case of former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were merely apartment units with no signs of business activities, a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer revealed.

Mohd Zamri Abdul Rashid, 36, said this was based on his investigation into the financial status of the companies, namely Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services, Jogabonito Jewellery & Diamonds and Berani & Jujur Trading.

The 92nd prosecution witness also told the High Court that he found that a huge amount of monies was actively going in and out of the bank account of Berani & Jujur Trading.

“Based on my investigations, Berani & Jujur Trading did not have any employees and the registered address of the company was an apartment unit. There was also no sign of business activities carried out at the premises.

“This was also the case with Mastoro Kenny and Jogabonito Jewellery,” he said during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi.

Zamri was testifying in Zahid’s trial over 47 charges of money-laundering, bribery and criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving millions of ringgit.

According to the 11th, 12th and 13th charges, Zahid who was then the Minister of Home Affairs was alleged to have received bribes from the three companies via 10 cheques totalling RM13.25 million through Junaith Asharab Md Shariff as an inducement to help Mastoro Kenny to secure projects from MyEG under the ministry.

Junaith Asharab, who was a witness in the trial, runs Berani & Jujur Trading, a textile wholesale company.

During cross-examination by Zahid’s lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh, the witness disagreed that the monies from the three companies were donations to charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi which belonged to Zahid.

He also disagreed with the lawyer’s contention that the investigation he conducted was made in a biased manner.

Hamidi: You said on Oct 8, 2018, you received instructions to conduct investigations into the three companies?

Zamri: Yes

Hamidi: Do you agree, and this is a fact, that Zahid was charged on Oct 19, 2018?

Zamri: Correct

Hamidi: Do you agree that from Oct 8 to Oct 19 is 11 days?

Zamri: Yes

Hamidi: Do you agree that that is only a short time for one to investigate until the accused was charged?

Zamri: I agree

He also agreed with the lawyer that investigations were still going on after Zahid was charged to obtain the original copies of the cheques related to the case which required time.

Zamri then explained during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali that his investigations actually started in June 2018.

“I gathered evidence and facts needed until the accused was charged and I am confident that my investigations were based on these facts I gained at that time. This is not biasness,” he said.

Zamri also said cheques received by Zahid could not have been “donations”, He dismissed the idea that bribery and corruption could only take place via cash transactions, adding that fund transfers through banks have been used in corruption cases.

Yesterday, the High Court was told that Zahid received two cheques valued at RM6 million from Datasonic Group Bhd (DGB) deputy managing director Chew Ben Ben, which was then handed over to Messrs Lewis & Co.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Hizar Farhan Abdul Razi, 32, said both cheques were handed over by Chew to Zahid at the former deputy prime minister’s official residence in Seri Satria, Putrajaya in 2017.

The court had been told before this that Lewis & Co was the trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi, owned by Zahid.

Based on the 14th and 15th charge, Zahid is alleged to have received bribes amounting to RM6 million from Chew as inducement to appoint Datasonic Technologies Sdn Bhd (DTSB) to implement a five-year passport chip project, or 12.5 million chips for the Malaysian passport polycarbonate biodata page for the Immigration Department, through direct negotiations under the Home Ministry (KDN).

The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.