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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Policeman gets 8 years in jail, fined RM1.75 million for money laundering

A police superintendent, who was found guilty of committing money laundering not only had his jail sentence enhanced to eight years, but was also fined RM1.75 million in default six months' jail.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal chaired by Justice Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi had allowed the prosecution's appeal to set aside Azmi Osman's acquittal and restored the decision of the Sessions Court, which had convicted him on the four charges.
The Johor Baru Sessions Court in 2011 had sentenced Azmi, 60, to two years jail for each of the charges to run concurrently and also fined him RM1.75 million for the offences committed between 2002 and 2005.
Azmi, who was on bail pending disposal of the appeal, starts his jail sentence from today.
The judge, in his decision, said the jail term imposed by the Sessions Court was manifestly inadequate, fundamentally flawed and violated the sentencing policy, taking into consideration that the money laundering offence was a serious offence.
Justice Balia said the sum of money involved was RM3.8 million and the total value of Azmi's assets seized was RM6 million, totalling more than RM9 million.
He, however, maintained the fine of RM1.75 million in default six months' jail.
Justice Balia said Azmi committed the offence from 2002 until 2005 and it cannot be considered as same transactions to justify his jail sentence to run concurrently.
Meanwhile, the same panel which also comprised Justices Datuk Rohana Yusof and Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim dismissed Azmi's appeal on a High Court order for third party notice and forfeiture of the properties under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001
That section states the court making the forfeiture order shall cause to be published a notice in the gazette calling upon any third party who claims to have any interest in the property to attend before the court on the date specified in the notice to show cause as to why the property shall not be forfeited.
Azmi, who was suspended from duty, was alleged to have committed the four offences of money laundering totalling RM3.8 million when he was an officer of the Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division in Johor.
For the first and second charges, he was alleged to have received RM2.08 million and RM679,850 proceeds from money laundering through his Maybank current account in Mentakab, Pahang between February 6 and December 20, 2002 as well as January 15 and October 2 in 2003.
For the third and fourth charges, he was alleged to have received RM941,930 and RM250,000 for the same activity through another Maybank current account at the City Square Shopping Centre, Johor Baharu respectively on January 13 and November 17, 2004 and April 5 in 2005.
Azmi was initially acquitted by the Sessions Court without calling for defence but the High Court overturned that decision and ordered him to enter his defence.
On August 27, 2012, the Sessions Court convicted him and imposed a two-year jail sentence for each charge to run concurrently and also fined him RM1.75 million.
Azmi subsquently appealed to the High Court which reversed the Sessions Court decision and acquitted and discharged him on the four charges prompting the prosecution to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Azmi was represented by lawyers Adam Yap and C.N. Sritharan while deputy public prosecutors Anselm Charles Fernandis and Mohd Farez Rahman acted for the prosecution. – Bernama

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