JOHOR BARU, Sept 22 — A former private secretary to a member of parliament pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate’s Court here today to seven counts of cheating, involving RM39,450, last year.
S. Saswin Nair, 27, who was formerly private secretary to the Tebrau MP Steven Choong, made the plea after the charges were read out to him before Magistrate Haffiza Jemali.
On the first to the fourth count, Saswin was charged with deceiving three men by offering them to purchase affordable homes under the Johor government’s RMBJ programme in Taman Daya here, prompting the three men to hand over RM9,150; RM7,000 and RM8,000, respectively to him as deposit payment.
The offences were allegedly committed at Taman Nusa Jaya in Iskandar Puteri, Bandar Seri Alam, and Taman Setia Tropika here between Nov 22 and Dec 25, 2018.
On the fifth count, he was charged with deceiving a man into handing him RM15,000 as deposit to purchase jewellery at a gold shop in Jalan Wong Ah Fook, here last July 27, but no delivery of the property was made.
All the charges were framed under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which provides an imprisonment for up to 10 years and whipping and liable to fine, if found guilty.
On the sixth and seventh count, Saswin was charged with deceiving two men into believing that Choong issued vouchers for the “Back To School” programme which could be redeemed for RM150 each, which were found to be false.
The offence were allegedly committed at the Tebrau MP Service Centre here in December last year.
The charge, under Section 417 of the Penal Code, provides an imprisonment for up to five years, or fine, or both, if found guilty.
Magistrate Haffiza offered Saswin bail of RM14,000 in two sureties for all charges and fixed Oct 23 for case management.
The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutors Chan Choon Yew and Adilah Nur Yahya, while Saswin was represented by lawyer Iskandar Shah Ibrahim. — Bernama