Case Exhibits of Luxury Watches, Cartier Jewellery at Ex-Ministry Official’s Trial

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Alleged ill-gotten gains splurged on luxury goods, produced as case exhibits in trial of former ministry official, company director and his wife.

  • Ex-ministry Youth and Sports Ministry official charged with 32 counts of power abuse and submitting RM38 million false claims 
  • Company director and wife each charged with 63 counts of transferring RM15 million of revenue from unlawful activities to Otman’s bank account
  • Accused facing up to five years’ imprisonment, maximum RM5 million, or both, upon conviction

Thirteen luxury watches and various types of jewellery were submitted to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court yesterday as case exhibits at the trial of former Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) finance division secretary, Otman Arsahd, who was charged with 32 counts of power abuse and with submitting false claims involving RM38.4 million, six years ago.

All the watches and jewellery, comprising 23 rings, eight bracelets, two earrings, and a necklace, were submitted by the prosecution’s 49th witness, Asmawi A/L Kulup Lam, who is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) principal senior enforcement assistant.

“All items have been recorded in the confiscation form issued to Otman during the MACC investigation,” he said in reply to deputy public prosecutor Husmarudin Husin during examination-in-chief.

Among the luxury watch brands were Cartier, Rolex and Tag Heuer, while most of the jewellery was of Cartier’s.

On April 21, 2016, Otman was charged with 64 counts of receiving unlawful proceeds amounting to RM16.623,000 in cheques which were deposited into his account at Maybank, RHB and CIMB Berhad between March 7, 2012, and December 11, 2015.

Earlier, the prosecution’s 48th witness, Yahya Ab Ghani, who is the National Housing Department deputy director-general (Operation), told the court that each application for allocation from the National Sports Trust Fund must be reviewed by the controlling officer, that its the secretary-general, before the allocation could be channelled to the applicant.

Yahya, who was the KBS finance division secretary from April 2017 to September 2017, said the applicants would be notified in writing of the approval for their applications.

“The approved allocation will be channelled to them via electronic fund transfer (EFT),” he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Norzilati Izhani Zainal.

Yahya added that each applicant was required to organise the sports activity stated in their applications and to submit a report on the event upon completion.

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 to a bank account owned by Otman during the same period.

The three accused had allegedly committed the offence at different locations, including RHB Bank branch in Precinct 8, Putrajaya; Menara Maybank Jalan Tun Perak and Maybank branch Jalan Raja Laut.

Bernama

Otman, Abdul Gafar and Siti Rohanah are 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 up to five years, or both, if found guilty.

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.

The trial before Judge Azura Alwi continues today.