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Gold investment: Director, manager charged

Published on: Friday, January 24, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: A gold trading company director who faces 57 counts of money laundering in Kuala Lumpur, was on Thursday charged with receiving deposits of about RM3.88 million from the public illegally.

Businesswoman Datuk Noor Ismahanum Mohd Ismail pleaded not guilty before Sessions Court Judge Azreena Aziz.

Noor Ismahanum, 32, allegedly received the deposits from the public without valid licence under Sub-Section 6(4) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) 1989.

Noor Ismahanum, who is also charged with money laundering in another case, received the deposits through a scheme involving gold transactions at the Marina Court condominium in Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens between Dec. 6 and Dec. 28, 2010.

The company, Worldwide Far East Sdn Bhd which was represented by Noor Ismahanum, was also charged with committing the same offence between Dec. 28, 2010 and April 23, 2012 at No 11B, 11th floor in Wisma Fok Loi, here. Noor Ismahanum also claimed trial to the charge.

The offence under Section 25(1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 and punishable under Section 103(1)(a) of the same Act carries a fine of up to RM10 million or up to 10 years' jail, or both, on conviction.

The company's branch manager Yong Thain Vun, 33, also claimed trial to abetting Noor Ismahanum to receive the deposits between Nov. 6, 2010 and April 23, 2012 at No 11B, 11th floor in Wisma Fok Loi, here.

Azreena fixed March 3 for case management and June 16-27 this year for hearing. She offered bail at RM50,000 with RM25,000 deposited in a local surety each to Noor Ismahanum, the company and Yong.

Earlier, Bank Negara prosecuting officer Fahmi Mohd Moin who was assisted by Siti Nabila Huda objected to bail but then proposed bail at RM100,000 if the court wished to allow them bail.

Fahmi informed the court that Noor Ismahanum was charged with money laundering in KL last year. He also applied for the cases here to be jointly tried.

Meanwhile, counsel Goldam Hamid who defended Noor Ismahanum applied for the bail amount of RM500,000 which was granted at KL to be used in the present case.

According to Goldam, Noor Ismahanum is currently remanded in Kajang prison as she could not furnish the bail offered to her in KL and that the defence had filed an application at the KL High Court to reduce the bail.

Yong's counsel Chin Tek Ming asked for a bail of RM30,000 with RM10,000 to be deposited saying that Yong is a local and staying in Penampang with his family.

Fahmi also told the court that about 25 witnesses would be called during the hearing.