MACC officer gets three years’ jail, two whipping for misappropriation of US$6.94m

by BERNAMA / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD 

KUALA LUMPUR – A Senior Superintendent of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) 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 (US$1=RM4.18) in cash evidence linked to a major corruption case.

Judge Suzana Hussin handed down the sentence after Shahrum Nizam Baharuddin, 41, changed his plea to guilty to an alternative charge when the case came up for mention today.

He was ordered to serve the jail sentence from the date of arrest, which was Sept 13,  2021.

Prior to this case,  the MACC confirmed having detained three of its officers for investigation into allegations of power abuse and misappropriation in the case involving former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid.

On April 12, 2021, Hasanah was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the High Court here  on a charge of committing criminal breach of trust involving US$12.1 million (RM50.4 million) belonging to the Malaysian government.

When handing down the sentence, Suzana said she hoped that it would be a lesson to the accused to not repeat the mistake.

Meanwhile, Suzana also ordered that property purchased by the accused using the seized money to be forfeited to the government.

They comprised a blue Hublot Big Bang watch, a four-wheel drive Ford Raptor, a Honda Civic, a Mercedes Benz car, two high-powered Ducati motorcycles, a two-and-a half-storey house in Kota Warisan Sepang, two plots of land in Jerantut, Pahang and RM8,700 in cash.

Also ordered to be forfeited to the government were cash of US$4.07 million and RM1.6 million.

The alternative charge made against Shahrum Nizam was for dishonest misappropriate of property by converting the money, amounting US $6.94 million, for his own use.

The charge, framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code, provides an imprisonment for up to five years and with whipping and shall also be liable to fine, if found guilty.

He was charged with committing the offence at  the Office of the Head of the Special Action Branch (CTK), Investigation Division, Level 14, Block C, MACC Headquarters, Putrajaya, between Dec 17,  2018 and April 9, 2019.

Meanwhile, during mitigation, Shahrum Nizam’s lawyer Ahmad Hafiz A Bakar, said his client, who has two children, aged 10 and 12 years, and a family to support,  had never been convicted of any criminal offence before and this case was his first.

He said Shahrum Nizam had served with the MACC since Nov 14, 2005 and was the recipient of the excellent service award four times.

He is suffering from nasal cancer and a medical report from a private hospital had been submitted to the court, added the lawyer.

Ahmad Hafiz said the assets purchased by his client using the money had been confiscated and sealed by the MACC.

My client also apologised for his mistake and promised not to do it again, he added.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib requested the court to consider public interest when meting out the sentence against the accused.

“The court must take into account the seriousness of the offence and that it is committed by a civil servant who was entrusted with the task, but took advantage for his own benefit.

“The prosecution requests the court to take into account the value of the money involved and this offence committed by the accused has tarnished the image of the MACC as an organisation, and also certain individuals in the organisation,” he added.