KUCHING, Sept 20 — The police have referred the investigation papers involving three individuals, namely the former Koperasi Automobil Kuching Sarawak (Kokas) chairman, secretary and treasurer, who have allegedly misused RM3.4 million of government funds, to the Sarawak Attorney General’s Chambers.
Sarawak Commercial Crime Investigations Department chief Supt Mustafa Kamal Gani Abdullah said the investigation papers of the three suspects, who are in their 50s, were referred to the Sarawak Attorney General’s Chambers on Tuesday and will be referred to the Attorney General’s Chambers in Putrajaya next Wednesday for further action.
“We suggested that the suspect be charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code,” he told a press conference attended by Bukit Aman Anti-Money Laundering (AMLA) division chief SAC Datuk Khalil Azlan Chik.
Kokas is a cooperative appointed to receive government funds to run the Automotive Workshop Modernisation and Small Retailers Transformation (Tukar) programmes in Sarawak, of which RM7.5 million has been distributed to Kokas by the government since May 2012.
The offence under Section 409 of the Penal Code provides maximum imprisonment of up to 20 years, whipping and a fine, upon conviction.
He said 102 individuals had been called to testify on the case since it started on Sept 21 last year.
Meanwhile, Khalil noted that the three suspects were found to have misused the funds which were supposed to be used for the modernisation programme but instead they were used for purposes other than those permitted.
He said following the case investigation, a new investigation paper was opened on June 26 under Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFAA) 2001.
He said under the investigation, 57 individuals and eight entities related to the three suspects had been involved in illegal money laundering activities.
“They are allies, children and friends. Under the AMLA investigation, we will create the suspect’s family profiles as well as their affiliates and we will investigate on their assets to see if money from the fund was transferred into the allies or family’s property,” he said.
Khalil said police also seized all of the suspects’ assets, including to freeze 71 bank accounts worth RM2.95 million; 16 vehicles worth RM763,000; 13 properties with an estimated value of RM2.37 million; and jewellery and cash worth RM90,650.
“They were not detained but were just investigated. According to the law, we are given only one year to investigate and after that, we will decide whether to charge them or release their assets,” he said. — Bernama