A former ‘Datuk Seri’ who was last week accused of cheating a company director in the Penang undersea tunnel project has been today slapped with 68 charges of money laundering.
G Gnanaraja, dressed in a black suit, pleaded not guilty to the offences that involved RM11.4 million.
It took an hour for the charges to be read in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today before justice Rozina Ayob.
The 38-year old was indicted under Section 4(1)(b) under the Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds or Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA), which, upon conviction, carries a jail term up to 15 years and a fine not less than five times the amount involved.
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.
Rozina granted the accused RM50,000 bail with two sureties, as well as a piece of land in Cheras pledged (as part of bail).
The two sureties are accused’s brothers-in-law. Both are the owners of the land.
When he was charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court last week, Gnanaraja had been ordered to surrender his passport to the court there.
MACC deputy public prosecutor Allan Suman Pillai prosecuted, while counsel Geethan Ram Vincent represented Gnanaraja.
Last Wednesday, Gnanaraja claimed trial to duping Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd’s Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli on three occasions in 2017 into paying him RM19 million.
Gnanaraja had allegedly convinced Zarul that he could use his political connections to close MACC’s investigations against the director.