Witness: Govt servant had RM1.5mil bungalow renovation

Otman Arshad (centre) is facing 32 charges of misusing his position and submitting false claims involving RM38.4 million. (File pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A former senior officer of the youth and sports ministry renovated and upgraded a bungalow in Kajang at a cost of RM1.5 million, a corruption trial was told today.

Asmawi A/L Kulup Lam of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said the information was obtained from an invoice submitted as a case exhibit in the trial of the ministry’s former finance division secretary, Otman Arshad.

The invoice was issued under the name of Otman, who faces 32 charges of misusing his position and submitting false claims involving RM38.4 million.

“The information on the invoice stated that a sum of RM1,428,850 was paid for the renovation and upgrading of a bungalow, while RM123,012.70 was the unpaid balance,” he said during examination-in-chief by MACC deputy public prosecutor Norzilati Izhani Zainal.

Asmawi, 37, a principal senior assistant superintendent of MACC, is the prosecution’s 49th witness in the case.

He also submitted as exhibits eight Amanah Saham Bumiputera and Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 passbooks belonging to Otman; his wife, Mastura Annuar; and their two children, which showed deposits totalling RM2,133,434.55.

“We have also impounded Otman’s Tabung Haji and Bank Simpanan Nasional Giro passbooks showing deposits amounting to RM127,302.44,” he said.

In addition, Asmawi submitted as exhibits six “Regal” brand cloth of different colours and copies of insurance payment receipts for a Volkswagen Golf GTI car bearing registration number WXA92, under the name of third accused Abdul Ghafar Abdurahiman, which were paid in 2014 and 2016, for RM3,614.66 and RM3,280.59 respectively.

He also submitted various receipts issued under Otman’s son’s name for the maintenance and purchase of car accessories totalling over RM23,000, and one under Mastura’s name for the purchase of a Cartier ring worth RM268,000.

Also submitted as case exhibits were six Maybank cheque books issued to Dial Ex Sdn Bhd and proof of purchase of return flight tickets for Otman, his wife and two children to Melbourne from Feb 23 to March 15, 2015, which were priced at RM1,849 each.

On April 21, 2016, Otman, 59, represented by lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, was charged with 64 counts of receiving RM16.623 million allegedly from unlawful proceeds, through cheques which were deposited into his Maybank, RHB and CIMB Berhad accounts between March 7, 2012 and Dec 11, 2015.

Besides Otman, a director of a sports company affiliated with the ministry, Abdul Gafar Abdurahiman, 44, and his wife, Siti Rohanah Hussien, 44, who is a housewife, were each charged with 63 counts of transferring RM15.723 million, believed to be the revenue from unlawful activities, from their three companies’ accounts into a bank account owned by Otman during the same period.

They were alleged to have committed the offence at different locations, including RHB Bank branch in Presint 8, Putrajaya; Menara Maybank on Jalan Tun Perak, and the Maybank branch on Jalan Raja Laut.

Otman, Gafar and Rohanah were charged under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act, which carries a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

They were also charged under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years and fine of not less than five times the sum of the unlawful activity’s proceeds, if convicted.

The hearing before Judge Azura Alwi resumes from May 14 to 17.