Former Protasco Bhd director claims trial to cheating, involving nearly RM85m

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — A former director of Protasco Bhd was charged in the Ampang Sessions Court here today with cheating, perjury and criminal breach of trust, involving nearly RM85 million.

Datuk Ooi Kock Aun, 49, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to all the charges before judge Suraiya Mustafa Kamal.

On the first charge, Ooi was alleged to have cheated the board of directors and officers of Protasco Bhd by purposely hiding the information that he had interest in an Indonesian-based company, PT Anglo Slavic Utama.

This prompted Protasco Bhd to enter into an agreement with PT Anglo Slavic Utama to invest in an oil and gas business in Indonesia through an acquisition of 63 per cent shares of PT Anglo Slavic Indonesia, worth USD22 million (RM68,393,170).

The payment for the acquisition of the shares was made in stages in two CIMB PT ASU accounts, whereby Protasco Bhd would not have entered into the agreement if it had not been deceived by the accused.

Ooi was charged with committing the offence at the Protasco Bhd office, Level 2, Corporate Building Unipark Suria, Jalan Ikram-Uniten, Kajang, here between November 2012 and Jan 30, 2014.

The charge, under Section 420 of the Penal Code, carries an imprisonment for up to 10 years and with whipping, and is liable to fine, if found guilty.

On the second charge, Ooi was accused of making a false declaration to the Commissioner of Oath that he had no link with PT Anglo Slavic Utama or with any of its directors and shareholders, when he very well knew that he had interests in the company.

The offence was committed at the office of the Commissioner of Oath Wern Li Morsingh, Fraser Business Park, 50-3A, Jalan Metro Pudu, Off Jalan Yew here on July 25, 2014.

The charge, under Section 181 of the Penal Code, provides a maximum imprisonment for three years and is liable to fine.

Ooi was also charged with committing criminal breach of trust of property belonging to PT Anglo Slavic Indonesia, worth RM16,250,000, at CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad, Menara Southern Bank, No 83 Medan Setia 1, Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara here on Feb 4, 2014.

The charge, under Section 409 of the Penal Code, provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and with whipping, and is liable to fine, if found guilty.

Deputy public prosecutor Datin Nurshuhaida Zainal Azahar, who prosecuted, offered bail of RM1 million for all charges in one surety.

Ooi’s lawyer, Edmund Bon Tai Soon, requested the court to fix a reasonable amount for bail on grounds that there was no possibility of his client absconding as his family was in Malaysia and that the accused had also cooperated with the authorities during investigation.

Suraiya set bail at RM1 million on all charges and also ordered Ooi to surrender his passport to the court and to not intimidate witnesses in the case.

The court set Feb 26 for mention. — Bernama