Syed Saddiq pleads not guilty to new money laundering charges

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JOHOR BAHRU: Former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has pleaded not guilty to two new charges of money laundering amounting to RM50,000 each.

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The Muar MP was charged in the sessions court here this morning under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

If found guilty, he faces imprisonment of up to 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the ill-gotten gain, or RM5 million, whichever is higher.

For both charges, Syed Saddiq is alleged to have transferred a total of RM100,000 in illegal funds from his Maybank Islamic Berhad account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) account.

The act was allegedly committed at the Maybank branch in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling here on June 18 and June 19, 2018.

Syed Saddiq, who was represented by lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, arrived at the court at around 9am. His parents and several supporters were also present.

The prosecution was conducted by deputy director of the legal and prosecution division of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and MACC deputy public prosecutors Ahmad Akram Gharib and Mohd Afif Ali.

Wan Shaharuddin asked the court to impose the same bail as Syed Saddiq’s trial in the Kuala Lumpur sessions court.

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The prosecution also requested the court transfer the case to Kuala Lumpur, as the witnesses were the same as in his earlier case.

Judge Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail agreed and set Sept 10 for re-mention of the case in the Kuala Lumpur sessions court.

Speaking to reporters later, Syed Saddiq repeated his claim that Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal had approached and persuaded him to support the prime minister before his court appearance.

Two weeks ago, Syed Saddiq had pleaded not guilty to misappropriating RM1 million belonging to Bersatu Youth.

He was slapped with one charge of criminal breach of trust under Section 405 of the Penal Code over the allegation that he had withdrawn RM1 million in party funds from the bank without the top leadership’s consent.

If found guilty, he faces a jail term not exceeding 10 years and whipping, and would also be liable to a fine.-FMT