Ex-Genneva directors jailed for money laundering to remain behind bars

Two of the four former directors of Genneva Sdn Bhd at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on Feb 12 last year. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: It is the end of the road for four former directors of a gold investment company jailed for 154 counts of money laundering and four counts of illegal deposit-taking involving more than RM100 million.

The Court of Appeal today dismissed their review application to set aside the conviction and sentence handed down last year.

Judge Yew Jen Kie said all the issues of which the ex-Genneva Sdn Bhd directors were convicted had been canvassed before the appeal panel.

“Careful perusal of the grounds for review of conviction and sentence shows that the applicants are using the review application to reopen and re-examine the final decision of the appeal,” she said in the unanimous ruling.

However, she said the Court of Appeal has the inherent jurisdiction to review its own decision in a case where there is no further recourse available to a party.

In this case, she said, the applicants had not shown any exceptional circumstances to warrant the review of conviction and sentence.

The other judges on the bench were Yaacob Md Sam and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

On Dec 12, 2017, the Court of Appeal set aside the High Court’s acquittal of Ng Poh Weng, 68; Marcus Yee Yuen Seng, 66; Chin Wai Leong, 42; and Liew Chee Wah, 64; finding them guilty of the charges.

On Feb 21 last year, a three-member panel comprising Mohtarudin Baki, Zakaria Sam and Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil sentenced them to three years in jail and fined them RM1 million each for money laundering.

The court also sentenced them to five years’ jail and another fine of RM1 million for illegal deposit-taking.

It ruled for the sentences to run consecutively, meaning that the four would spend eight years in jail.

Mohtarudin also convicted Genneva of five counts of receiving deposits from the public without a licence and fined it RM2 million.

The court held that the clarification made by the four that their gold-trading activities were not deposit-taking as defined by the Banking and Financial Institutions Act was not convincing.

On May 16, 2013, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court freed the four after finding that the defence had raised reasonable doubt over the prosecution’s case. This was upheld by the High Court three years later.

The four were accused of committing the money-laundering offences at Menara Public Bank in Kuala Lumpur between July 2008 and June 2009.

They were also accused of illegally accepting public deposits at the company’s premises on Jalan Kuchai Maju 6 in Kuala Lumpur between November 2008 and July 2009.