Witness: Yayasan Akalbudi gets 27 donation cheques for RM26m

Witness disagrees they were donations, and says these contributions could have been made without having to go through a trustee

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE charity foundation, Yayasan Akalbudi, linked to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, had received 27 cheques amounting to a total of RM26.05 million from various organisations and individuals, the court heard.

In Ahmad Zahid’s graft trial, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Amirudin Nordin, 38, said his investigation found that those cheques were billed as donations, given through Yayasan Akalbudi’s trustee, Lewis & Co.

The 96th prosecution witness testified that 13 of the cheques were from MYEG Sdn Bhd with a total amount of RM7.8 million; 10 cheques from Chia Bee Enterprise Sdn Bhd (RM10 million); two cheques from Sarana Kencana Sdn Bhd (RM6 million); a cheque from one Mubarak Hussain Akhtar Hussain (RM2 million); and a cheque from Jogabonito Jewellery & Diamonds (RM250,000).

The witness raised the issue that these contributions could have been made without having to go through Lewis & Co and hence, disagreed that they were “donations”.

“If these companies and individuals wanted to donate, they could donate directly to Yayasan Akalbudi’s account. There is no need to go through this ‘trustee’,” the witness told the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.

In previous proceedings, the court has heard that the process of converting RM7.5 million in cash into 35 cheques in Ahmad Zahid’s case was considered money laundering derived from illegal sources. According to the 27th money-laundering charge, Ahmad Zahid is alleged to have ordered money changer Omar Ali Abdullah to convert RM7,511,250.20 in cash into 35 cheques to be deposited into Lewis & Co, to purchase fixed deposits in Malayan Banking Bhd.

MACC investigating officer Mohd Fahmee Mohamad Nor, 39, testified that Omar Ali claimed he did not know the individuals who gave him the money.

The 95th prosecution witness said Omar Ali had received a large amount of money from unknown individuals around his company Syarikat Marhaba Enterprise Sdn Bhd’s premises.

Ahmad Zahid faces 47 charges, 12 of them for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit of funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.


Read our previous report here

Ahmad Zahid allegedly converted RM7.5m into 35 cheques in money-laundering act