Appeals court upholds ex-land broker’s 5 years jail for money laundering

THE Court of Appeal in Putrajaya today upheld a five-year jail sentence and RM1 million fine imposed by a lower court 12 years ago on a former unlicensed land broker for money laundering.

This followed a decision by a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal in dismissing the appeal by Gan Kiat Bend, 64, to set aside his conviction, as well as jail sentence and fine.

In the court’s decision, Justice Datuk Hanipah Farikullah, chairing the panel, said there was no merit in Gan’s appeal and there was also no appealable error by the lower court to warrant the appellate court’s intervention.

The two other judges were Justices Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Gan, who was on bail of RM170,000 pending disposal of his appeal, was ordered by the Court of Appeal to begin his jail sentence today after the court issued a warrant of committal against him.

Gan was charged with four counts of money laundering by receiving proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to RM2.4 million, allegedly committed at Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd, in Jalan Ampang, Selangor, between Nov 19, 2003, and Jan 9, 2004.

On Dec 23, 2010, the Sessions Court sentenced him to five years in jail and RM1 million fine, in default one year jail for the first charge and two years jail for the second charge.

He was sentenced to six months imprisonment for the third charge and two years jail for the fourth charge. However, Gan was ordered to serve the jail sentences concurrently, meaning he would only have to serve five years in jail.

The Sessions Court also ordered Gan to pay RM2.4 million penalty or levy under Section (2) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001. Failing to pay the penalty within a year will land him with another jail term.

His appeal at the High Court was dismissed on March 10, 2017.

Gan settled the RM1 million fine but did not pay the RM2.4 million penalty.

He was initially charged together with another unlicensed land broker Ismail Hussin, who is now deceased.

Gan was represented by lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, while deputy public prosecutor Datuk Dusuki Mokhtar, Nahra Dollah and Samihah Rhazali prosecuted. — Bernama