News

Former BNS MD charged with CBT, involving RM21m

FORMER Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) MD Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor (picture) was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today with three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) of the company’s funds amounting to RM21.08 million for the construction of littoral combat ships (LCS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Ahmad Ramli, 78, a former Navy commander, pleaded not guilty to all the charges which were read out before Judge Suzana Hussin.

“I understand (the charges),  I plead not guilty and claim trial,” he said.

On the first charge, Ahmad Ramli, as the BNS MD who was entrusted with the company’s funds, was alleged to have committed CBT by approving a payment amounting to RM13,541,140 to the account of Syarikat Setaria Holding Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank, 6 Battery RD, Singapore 049909, without the approval of the BNS board of directors.

The offence was allegedly committed at BNS, 17th floor, Menara Boustead, 69 Jalan Raja Chulan, between July 26, 2010, and March 25, 2011.

For the second CBT charge, Ahmad Ramli was alleged to have approved payment amounting to RM1,360,716 to the account of JSD Corp, the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd, 65 Chulia Street, OCBC Centre, Singapore, without the approval of the BNS board of directors at the same place between April 19, 2011, and May 4, 2011.

He was also charged with committing a similar offence by approving a payment amounting to RM6,182,295 to the account of Syarikat Sousmarin Armada Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank, 6 Battery Road, Singapore at the same place between Oct 28, 2010, and  Nov 22, 2010.

The three charges were framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code which provides imprisonment for up to 20 years with whipping and is liable to fine, if found guilty.

The court allowed him to bail amounting to RM500,000 with a paid surety of RM200,000 for all charges and set Nov 24 for mention.

Deputy public prosecutors Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Ahmad Akram Gharib prosecuted, while lawyer Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden represented Ahmad Ramli.

Earlier, Ahmad Akram proposed bail of RM500,000 with one surety and a paid surety of RM200,000 for all charges.

“The bail amount has been agreed to by the defence. The prosecution also requested an additional condition that the accused’s passport be handed over to the court,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wan Shaharuddin informed the court that the prosecution and defence had agreed on Nov 24 as the mention date, taking into account the fact that there were many documents that needed to be scrutinised by both parties.

“I was also informed that there is a possibility the defence will send a letter of representation on this case to the Attorney General’s Chambers,” he said and this was confirmed by Mohd Yusof.

On Aug 4, Public Accounts Committee revealed that none of the ships under the LCS project had been completed even though the project, worth RM6.08 billion, stipulated that five of the six ships should be completed and handed over by August 2022.

On Aug 11, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) announced that it had completed its investigation against a number of individuals linked to alleged irregularities in the handling of the LCS construction project.

According to sources, more individuals are expected to be charged in court in connection with the project. — Bernama / Pic by TMR FILE

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