Zahid trial: RM17.9m withdrawn from Yayasan Akalbudi without board consent

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court was told today that the withdrawal of RM17.9 million from Yayasan Akalbudi funds was a criminal breach of trust because it did not get the consent of the charity foundation’s board of trustees.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Muhammad Fazli Zulkifli, 36, said the withdrawal of the money from Yayasan Akalbudi’s Affin Bank account to be transferred to a Maybank account belonging to Messrs Lewis & Co, the foundation’s trustee, was instructed by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.


The 93rd prosecution witness said this during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Sazilee Abdul Khairi, on the 48th day of the trial of the former deputy prime minister, who is facing corruption, abuse of power and money laundering charges involving millions of ringgit in funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

Last Friday, Fazli told the court that Zahid was involved in the withdrawal of RM17.9 million from Yayasan Akalbudi funds for the purchase of shares as well as to be placed as fixed deposits.

Of the amount, he said RM8.6 million was paid to Ri-Yaz Assets Sdn Bhd as deposit for a share purchase with another RM9.3 million to be placed as fixed deposits.

Sazilee: Based on your investigation on Messrs Lewis & Co, the holder of RM17.9 million, who gave instructions with regards to the money to the firm.

Fazli: All instructions received by Lewis & Co were from Zahid and Lewis & Co will not act without instructions.

The witness also confirmed that no other members of Yayasan Akalbudi’s board of trustees had given instructions to Lewis & Co, specifically its partner B Muralidhahran.

On Zahid’s cautioned statement to the MACC during the investigation into the case involving the investment in Ri-Yaz Assets, Fazli said it contradicted the testimony of other witnesses.

“Based on Zahid’s statement, he said Yayasan Akalbudi was interested in investing (in Ri-Yaz Assets) in the hotel sector, but the testimony from other witnesses said that NurulHidayah (Zahid’s daughter) was interested to make an investment and payment was made by Yayasan Akalbudi,” said Fazli.

Sazilee: What about the testimony of Rashid Manaf (shareholder of Ri-Yaz Assets).

Fazli: According to Rashid, Nurulhidayah expressed interest in investing in Ri-Yaz Assets.

Asked whether there were any documents on the investment, Fazli replied, “No, it involved only two parties, Nurulhidayah and Rashid. During the investigation I also did not find any document saying that Nurulhidayah was an observer or proxy in Ri- Yaz Assets.”

Meanwhile, MACC investigating officer Mohd Tharuzi Mohd Nor, 40, said he found it strange that Yayasan Al-Falah was only managed by three people.

Tharuzi said there were only three members on the board of trustees and no other names listed under the foundation.

The three who were the members of the board were Zahid’s brother Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi, lawyer Faisalludin Mohamat Yusuff and Mohd Farid Abdullah.

“Managing a foundation with only three people is rather weird. Besides, the three, there were no other members (in the foundation),” Tharuzi said during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi.

The 94th prosecution witness said this when he was asked about his investigations into the purchase of two bungalow lots at Country Heights, Kajang, which were paid for via a cheque from Messrs Lewis & Co.

Tharuzi also testified that there were no documents in relation to the purchase of the bungalow lots or that the units were being paid for using funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

He said there were also no documents or transactions of any donations made to Yayasan Al-Falah from Yayasan Akalbudi on the purchase of the bungalows, which he found strange.

Asked about the distance between the bungalow lots and where Zahid and Nasaee reside, the witness said the premises were near the siblings’ houses.

Tharuzi also revealed that RM5.9 million was paid by Yayasan Al-Falah to Bee Garden Holdings Sdn Bhd, the property owner via a cheque from Lewis & Co upon Zahid’s instructions.

He said based on his investigations, the transfer of ownership of both properties to Yayasan Al-Falah was successful.

Meanwhile, another MACC investigating officer Mohd Fahmee Mohamad Nor, 39, testified that there were 35 cheques from five banks under the name Lewis & Co that were suspected to be part of money laundering activities.

He said Zahid had ordered a money changing company to convert cash from unknown individuals and companies into cheques to conceal the transactions of the monies.

The 95th prosecution witness said Zahid had ordered Marhaba Enterprise Sdn Bhd owner Omar Ali Abdullah to convert money the latter received from unknown parties into cheques under the name of Lewis & Co.

He added that based on investigations, Omar Ali did not record any transactions on the money exchange.

He said Omar Ali had also not reported the money exchange to Bank Negara Malaysia.

Zahid, 68, faces 47 charges, 12 of them for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit of funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

Earlier reports:

Mar 5, Zahid’s trial: Companies linked to case had no business activities, but huge amount of transactions recorded

Aug 28, Zahid’s Trial: Witness Admits Negligence in Handling Zahid’s Cheques

Aug 25, Zahid’s Trial Allowed Use of Signature Stamp on Yayasan Akalbudi Cheques

Aug 24, Zahid’s Trial: Lewis & Cp Never Appointed as Yayasan Al-Falah Trustee

Aug 14, Zahid’s Trial: Lewis & Co Never Appointed as Yayasan Al-Falah Trustee

Aug 12, Zahid’s Trial: 92 Cheques Worth RM76M from Zahid to Law Firm

Aug 11, Zahid’s Trial: Legal Firm Not Trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi

Aug 10, Zahid Pleads Not Guilty to Amended Charges in Graft Trial

Jul 30, Zahid’s Trial: Law Firm Placed RM66.6M in Fixed Deposits, Yayasan Akalbudi Not a Client

Jul 29, Zahid’s Trial: Moneychanger Omar Ali Insists Zahid Ordered Millions in Cash Converted into Cheques

Jul 28, Zahid’s Trial: Zahid’s Daughter Said Father Had Funds for Her Takeover of Company’s Share

Jul 27, Zahid’s Trial: Businessman Donated RM6.6M to Yayasan Akalbudi to Secure Project

Jul 14, Zahid’s Trial: MyEG Director Gave RM9M to Zahid’s Foundation

Jul 3, Zahid’s Trial: More than RM1 Million in Cheques Issued to Yayasan Akalbudi Trustee

Jun 18, Zahid’s Trial: Contractor Says Zahid Paid Him RM1.4M Cash, No Records

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: After RM1.3M Blank Cheque Revelations, Witnesses Put Blame on Omar Ali

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: Wife Signed Blank Cheque Book for Moneychanger Husband’s Use

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: Contractor Tells Court of Dealings with Zahid’s Proxy

Jun 17, Zahid’s Trial: Brother Cited Zahid as Having Paid RM5.9M for Country Heights Bungalows

Jun 16, Zahid’s Trial Brother Bought 2 Properties Worth RM5.9M Using Foundation Money

Jun 15, Zahid’s Trial: RM25M Banked into Proxy’s Account

Mar 6, Zahid’s Trial: Cheques Issued Meant for Moneychanger Ended up in Proxy Account

Mar 3, Zahid’s Trial: RM99M Worth of Cheques Went into Foundation’s Trustee Account

Feb 20, Zahid’s Trial: Businessman Insists RM2 Million Donations to Zahid, Not Bribery for Contracts

Feb 19, Zahid’s Trial: Alleged RM6M Political Donation

Feb 15, Zahid’s Trial: Zahid Directed That Datasonics Passport Chips to Be Used

Feb 13, Zahid’s Trial: Under-Performing Firm Allowed to Resupply Passport Chips

Feb 12, Zahid’s Trial: Foundation Never Audited Its Accounts or Filed Financial Reports with SSM

Feb 11, Zahid’s Trial: Former DPM Signed 51 Foundation Cheques Worth RM31M

Dec 13, Zahid’s Trial: Earned RM44,383 a Month as DPM

Dec 12, Zahid’s Trial: RM360K All Went Towards Voter Registration, Not to Print Quran

Dec 10, Zahid’s Trial: Firm Received RM360K from Zahid’s Charity Body for Voter Registration

Dec 10, Zahid’s Trial: Insurance, Road Tax for His 20 Vehicles Paid with Foundation Funds

Dec 5, Zahid’s Trial: 39 Insurance Policies Totalling RM72K for 20 Vehicles

Dec 3, Zahid’s Trial: Couple Owns 18 Luxury Vehicles

Dec 2, Zahid’s Trial: Wife’s Credit Cards Used for LV, Harrods, Armani, RM250K Spending Limit

Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Four

Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Three

Nov 20, Schoomate: I Signed Blank Cheques on Zahid’s Order, 

Nov 19, Zahid’s Trial: Day Two

Nov 18, Zahid Embezzled RM31M Meant for the Poor