KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Ten men were each fined RM1,000 by the Ampang Magistrate’s Court here today for failing to provide an explanation for RM3.14 million belonging to a male private teacher in their bank accounts.

Magistrate Normaizan Rahim sentenced contractor Mohamad Saifuddin Ismail, 29; lorry driver Mohammad Anas Kamarudin, 31; security guard Muhammad Ariff Ahmad Tajuddin, 29; technician Muhamad Helmi Ahmad, 39; fisherman Mohd Syukur Maula Muhamad Desa, 32, after they pleaded guilty to the charge.

Also pleading guilty to the charge were security guard Mohd Hafiz Kamis, 38; businessman Muhammad Ikhwan Iswandy Ramli, 38; village worker Mohd Nizam Mat Jasat, 51; construction site supervisor Khairul Mizan Mohamad Johari, 31; and contractor S.Vikneswaran, 29.

The court also ordered all the accused to serve three months in jail if they failed to pay the fine.

According to the charge, all the men were each accused of not being able to provide a satisfactory explanation on how to obtain the total money amounting to RM3.14 million belonging to a 31-year-old private teacher, between Feb 2 and April 4.

All the incidents were allegedly committed at two banks in Ampang, according to Section 29 (1) of the Minor Offences Act 1955 (Act 336) which provides for a maximum fine of RM1,000 or a maximum jail term of one year or both.

Based on the facts of the case, the complainant (victim) received a phone call from a man who introduced himself as the chief tax operating officer from Inland Revenue Board (IRB) stating that the complainant had tax arrears for 15 months amounting to RM17,600.76 on Trillion Star Enterprise, registered in the name of the complainant.

When the complainant denied the matter, the call was connected to another man who introduced himself as Inspector Faisal Amir and Kedah police chief of operations, called Datuk Rizal who claimed the complainant was involved in money laundering by using the complainant’s Public Bank Berhad account.

The complainant followed the suspect’s instructions and acted to open a new account and hand over the banking information to the suspect and the results of the investigation found that the money belonging to the complainant had been put into the bank accounts belonging to all the accused.

During the appeal submission, counsel from the National Legal Aid Foundation Mohd Faiz Fahmy Abdul Razak who represented all the accused applied for a minimum fine without imprisonment for all his clients on the grounds that they had to support their families.

“In this case, my client is also a victim and is not aware that the bank account is being used by a third party. They did not get any benefit from the losses incurred by the complainant, ” he said.

Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPP) Annur Athirah Amran and Nurul Ameera Sam applied for punishment as a lesson that the public interest factor exceeds the personal interest of the accused.

“As an account holder, the accused needs to be aware of transactions that take place in his own bank when it involves a large amount. The court also needs to take into account the frequency of such cases where almost every day such cases are charged in court, besides the losses incurred by the complainant,” said the DPPs.


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