Teo fails to quash RM32.9m charges
Published on: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Water Department Deputy Director Teo Chee Kong, who is charged with 146 counts of money laundering from illegal activities amounting to RM32.9 million, failed in his application to quash all the 146 charges against him.High Court Judge Datuk Nurchaya Hj Arshad dismissed Teo's application ruling that there was no merit in the criminal application and accordingly ordered the trial to proceed expeditiously.

High Court Deputy Registrar Dana Arabi Wazani delivered the judgement on behalf of Nurchaya in the chambers, Tuesday.

Teo, 52, had filed the application to dismiss the charges on the grounds of abuse of court process mala fide.

He had also filed three criminal revision applications against the order of the Sessions Court pertaining to his case.

Nurchaya in her judgement also dismissed Teo's application against the Sessions Court Judge's refusal to recuse himself from hearing the trial as well as against the joint trial order with three other accused.

She held that there was no real likelihood of danger in the sense of a real possibility of bias on the part of the Sessions Court Judge as well as no issue of different evidence or witnesses involved.

Teo, however succeeded in his application for the prosecution on the production of CCTV recording and certain documents to be served on his defence team.

Nurchaya ordered the prosecution to produce the footage of CCTV recordings, lock up log book and LHDN files (as applied by Teo) before the trial commence on April 3.

Teo's applications were against the orders of Special Corruption Court Judge Abu Bakar Manat given on Jan 30 namely:

- refusing to recuse as presiding judge to hear Teo's trial;

- to grant the prosecution's application for joint trial with the case of three others (former Water Department Director Awang Mohd Tahir Awang Mohd Talib, his wife Fauziah Piut and former deputy director of the department Lim Lam Beng, who were charged together in the court earlier under the same Act) and;

- to dismiss (Feb 9) Teo's application for the prosecution on the production of CCTV recording and certain documents to be served on Teo's defence team.

Teo is facing 146 charges of money laundering from illegal activities amounting to RM32,923,254.25.

He had on Dec 13 last year pleaded not guilty to all the charges in which 78 charges stated that Teo allegedly have 70 land titles from illegal activities through 78 transactions valued at RM12,705,203.70 after transfer of ownership.

Teo allegedly committed the offence between Oct 21, 2005 and Aug 19, 2014 at separate locations in Land Office in Beaufort, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Sipitang, Papar and Land and Survey Department here.

The charges under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 provides for a fine of up to RM5 million or a jail term of up to 5 years or both, on conviction.

The remaining 68 charges against Teo stated that he allegedly committed six offences of having cash totalling RM7,930,810.48 (RM5,952,050 in Ringgit Malaysia and RM1,978,760.48 in estimated foreign currencies) from illegal activities and 62 offences of having money in a bank account totalling RM12,287,240.07 from illegal activities in eight financial institutions here and in Kuala Lumpur.

The offence allegedly took place between Oct 4, 2016 and Dec 30, 2016.

Each charges framed under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 carries a jail term of up to 15 years and liability of a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities of an offence at the time the offence was committed or five million ringgit, whichever is the higher, on conviction.

Teo, who was present in court, was represented by counsel Roland Cheng and Nelson Angang while Deputy Public Prosecutor Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abdul Rahman appeared for the prosecution. - Jo Ann Mool


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