22 Branded Bags Produced as Exhibits in Corruption Case

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Twenty handbags from brands such as Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fendi Roma, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada Milano and Christian Dior were produced in the Sessions Court here today as case exhibits in the trial of former Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) Finance Division secretary, Otman Arsahd, 59.

He is facing 32 counts of power abuse and submitting false claims involving RM38.4 million. The bags were submitted by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) principal senior assistant superintendent Asmawi s/o Kulup Lam, 37, during examination-in-chief by the prosecution, conducted by MACC deputy public prosecutors Husmarudin Husin and Aaron Chelliah.

Asmawi, who is the 49th prosecution witness, also produced the authenticity certificates for all the handbags, as well as the manual on how to care for the bags.

Rosdan Wahid/NST

He said all the bags that were seized were wrapped properly and placed in a box which was marked by MACC.

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

Saddam Yusoff/NST

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 which was the revenue from unlawful activities from the bank accounts of their three companies 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 Precinct 8, Putrajaya; Menara Maybank in Jalan Tun Perak, and Maybank branch in Jalan Raja Laut.

Otman, Abdul Gafar and Siti Rohanah were charged under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA), which carries a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Husmarudin also informed the court that the prosecution would produce several more boxes containing branded handbags and watches during the hearing of the case, which had been fixed from April 16 to 19.

“The prosecution will also submit several luxury cars owned by the first accused (Otman), as well as the second and third accused (Abdul Gafar and Siti Rohanah),” he said.

They were also charged under Section 4(1)(b) of 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.

Abdul Gafar and Siti Rohanah were represented by lawyer Datuk Seri Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos.

Earlier report: Mar 21, Case Exhibits of Luxury Watches, Cartier Jewellery at Ex-Ministry’s Official’s Trial