MACC senior officer spent US$6.94 million on luxury assets, court told

18 Feb 2022 10:59pm
Photo for representational purpose only - Source: 123rf
Photo for representational purpose only - Source: 123rf

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Senior Superintendent Shahrum Nizam Baharuddin has used part of the US$6.94 million seized in a major corruption case as his own by buying various luxury assets including house, cars and land plots.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib informed the Sessions Court here today that apart from that, during the period Shahrum Nizam, 41, was entrusted with the confiscated money, he had disposed part of the US$6.94 million exhibit money by converting it into Ringgit Malaysia through two witnesses.

According to him, investigations found that the accused had spent a total of RM2,713,730 to buy assets from Dec 17, 2018 until now.

"The accused used the exhibit money as his own by buying luxury assets and making 13 cash payment transactions to buy a two and a half storey house in Kota Warisan, Sepang.

"The accused bought branded watches, namely four units of Hublot Big Bang watches, two units of Tag Heuer watches and two units of Rolex watches in cash at a watch outlet in Mid Valley City with a total purchase value of RM397,580," he said when reading out the facts of the case after Shahrum Nizam pleaded guilty to misappropriating the MACC confiscated money before Judge Suzana Hussin.

Ahmad Akram said the accused had also bought a four-wheel drive Ford Raptor in cash costing RM219,000 as well as 2.9967 hectares of land worth RM333,220 under his name and 1,244 hectares of land worth RM150,000 under his wife’s name in Jerantut, Pahang.

"He also bought a Honda Civic Type R 2.4L Turbo car worth RM290,030 for which payment was made in cash amounting to RM265,930 and a Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition motorcycle worth RM278,000 and another Ducati 1199 Superleggera motorcycle worth RM300,000.

"Besides that, the accused also bought a Mercedes Benz A250 Sport car worth RM130,000 in cash," he said. According to Ahmad Akram, on Sept 21, 2021 at the Putrajaya MACC headquarters, the MACC seized cash amounting to RM1.6 million from a witness. The accused handed over the money to the witness to be used as timber business capital.

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He said on Sept 24, 2021, the MACC seized a luggage bag containing US$4.07 million in cash at Wisma DHR, Kampung Tanjung Mas, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, from the same witness.

On the money in the form of USD notes kept in the accused's iron cabinet which was handed over to the Research Division (RD) of the Prime Minister's Department (JPM) on Sept 10, 2021, Ahmad Akram said the MACC had conducted further investigations by checking and recalculating the money.

"The results of the inspection and calculation found that there were 69,232 pieces of printed paper in the form of USD notes in the iron cabinet. Examination by an expert witness named Fazri Mohd Zain also confirmed that the banknotes were fake,” he said.

On the operation carried out by the MACC, Ahmad Akram said on Aug 26, 2018, the accused was appointed head of operations in Op Dinar 2 in connection with the investigation on the former director- general of RD who was suspected of committing criminal breach of trust.

He said in the operations and raids, the MACC had seized a total of US$6.94 million from several locations, including from a condominium in Cyberjaya and the parking lot of Shangri-La Hotel, Putrajaya.

"The confiscated money was then handed over by the investigating officer to the Special Action Branch head (KC CTK) to be kept in a safe. On Dec 17, 2018, Shahrum Nizam had asked KC CTK to hand over part of the confiscated money for recalculation and verification of its authenticity.

Ahmad Akram said Shahrum Nizam took US$800,000 out of the MACC building to be converted into Ringgit Malaysia with the help of an individual in Kota Damansara and the exchange rate at that time was RM1.6 million.

"On April 9, 2019, the accused once again asked for the confiscated money which was in the custody of KC CTK for the recalculation process and security check. After being handed over, Shahrum Nizam had the US$2,470,000 converted to RM9,880,000.

"The accused also handed over a purple bag containing US$4.07 million to be kept by his acquaintance to be used as business capital,” he said.

Shahrum Nizam was today sentenced to three years’ jail and two strokes of the cane by the Sessions Court here for misappropriation of US$6.94 million in cash evidence linked to a major corruption case. - BERNAMA

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