68 money laundering charges for businessman accused of cheating

Businessman G Gnanaraja.

KUALA LUMPUR: The businessman accused of cheating a company director in the Penang undersea tunnel project has been slapped with 68 charges of money laundering amounting to RM11.4 million.

G Gnanaraja was said to have ordered for the RM11.4 million, believed to be money from illegal activities, to be paid to various companies and individuals from the bank account of Bumi Muhibah Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, of which he is allegedly the director, between July 28, 2017 and Jan 18, 2018.

The highest amount, RM2.4 million, was paid to a company, Matthew Ong & Associate, while RM2.2 million was paid to the home ministry.

If convicted under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, he will face a maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the sum of illegal money.

Gnanaraja claimed trial to the 68 charges before Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob. It took two interpreters over an hour to read out the charges to him.

He was given bail of RM50,000 and told to surrender a land title to the court as part of his bail conditions.

Deputy public prosecutor Allan Suman Pillai applied for the charges to be heard in the Shah Alam Sessions Court, where he was charged with three cheating offences last week.

Gnanaraja’s lawyer, Geethan Ram Vincent, did not object to the transfer.

Gnanaraja was accused last week of cheating Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd executive director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli of RM19 million two years ago.

He was said to have deceived Zarul into believing that he could help him close money laundering investigations against him by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

If convicted under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Gnanaraja faces a maximum jail term of 10 years, a fine and whipping.