SHAH ALAM, March 15 — An asset manager of an oil and gas company and his wife were charged at the Sessions Court here today with 18 counts of accepting bribe and money laundering involving RM1.17 million between 2018 and 2019.

Len Chia Whey, 37, and Tong Karen, 36, however, pleaded not guilty to all offences before Judge Rozilah Salleh.

Len was charged with accepting cash of RM232,593 through a middleman as an inducement to help KK Choong Synergy Sdn Bhd secure four oil pumping subcontract projects, namely in Mukim Semabok, Melaka; Pekan Tanjung Karang and Mukim Ijok in Kuala Selangor, Selangor; and in Mukim Tebrau in Johor.

He was alleged to have committed the offence at his house in Setia Eco Glades, Cyberjaya, between 3pm and 5pm on May 24, 2019.

The charge under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) provides a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Len was also charged with money laundering totalling RM757,986 which was deposited into his accounts at six banks, as well as in foreign currencies including pound sterling, euro, yen, yuan, Hong Kong dollar, kronur, peso, rupiah, baht, as well as US and Singapore dollars.

His wife, Karen, was also charged with five counts of money laundering involving RM188,000.

For that, they were both charged under Subsection 4(1)(b) of the  Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001 which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years and a fine of five times the value of the proceeds of the unlawful activities or RM5 million, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

MACC deputy public prosecutors Maziah Mohaide and Allan Suman Pillai prosecuted, while lawyer Gooi Soon Seng represented the couple.

The court allowed Len bail of RM90,000, and Karen, RM30,000, with one surety each and set April 19 for remention. — Bernama