Riza Aziz claims trial to money laundering charges involving over RM1 billion

KUALA LUMPUR: Hollywood film producer Riza Aziz claimed trial at the Sessions Court here today to five counts of money laundering amounting to US$248 million (RM1.25 billion).

Riza, the son of Rosmah Mansor, was said to have committed the offences in the US and Singapore between April 4, 2011 and Nov 14, 2012.

In the first charge, he was accused of receiving US$1,173,104 through a wired transfer from an account belonging to Good Star Ltd into an account belonging to Red Granite Productions Inc.

The offence allegedly took place between April 12, 2011 and May 12, 2011 at City National Bank in Los Angeles, California.

In the second charge, he was accused of receiving US$9,000,000 from the same account belonging to Good Star into the account belonging to Red Granite Productions.

The offence was said to have taken place at the same location between Sept 10, 2012 and Oct 10, 2012.

In the third charge, Riza was accused of receiving US$133,000,000 from an account belonging to Aabar Investments PJS Ltd into an account belonging to Red Granite Capital Ltd.

The offence was said to have taken place on June 18, 2012, at BSI Bank at Temasek Boulevard in Singapore.

In the fourth charge, he was said to have received US$60,000,000 from the same account belonging to Aabar Investments into the account of Red Granite Capital.

The offence allegedly took place on Oct 23, 2012 at the same location in Singapore.

In the fifth charge, Riza allegedly received US$45,000,000 from the account of Aabar Investments into the account of Red Granite Capital at the same location.

The offence was said to have taken place on Nov 14, 2012.

Riza was charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001. If convicted, he could face jail of up to five years and a maximum fine of RM5 million or five times the amount of the proceeds, whichever is higher.

Riza pleaded not guilty to each of the charges before judge Rozina Ayob.

Ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram suggested bail of RM1 million with two sureties.

Riza’s counsel M Kumaraendran then asked that his client be allowed to post bail in two instalments, with the first RM500,000 to be posted today and the remainder next week.

However, Sri Ram who was assisted by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib objected to the application, saying Riza should settle the entire amount today.

Rozina dismissed the application by the defence and ordered that the money be raised today.

She also told Riza to surrender his passport to the court, although Kumaraendran said his client was on a list of individuals banned from overseas travel.

Case mention was fixed on Aug 9.

Riza’s family members Nor Izham Puteh and Azizan Osman stood as his sureties while his step-siblings Nooryana Najwa and Mohd Norashman Najib were also present in court.