Senior cop convicted of money laundering gets another chance to appeal

A senior police officer was given another chance to appeal a 10-year jail term and RM42 million fine imposed on him by the Court of Appeal for money laundering offences involving RM3.35 million.

This was after a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said allowed the 59-year-old deputy superintendent Mohd Ismail Syed Merah’s review application.

Justice Kamaludin, who presided with Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin, then set Dec 20 for case management before a deputy registrar for Mohd Ismail’s appeal.

On March 22 this year, a different Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Datuk Has Zanah Mehat dismissed Mohd Ismail’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.

That panel also increased Mohd Ismail’s jail sentence from four years to 10 years and ordered him to pay a total fine of RM42 million in default 48 months’ jail after allowing the prosecution’s appeal.

Following the decision of the previous Court of Appeal panel, Mohd Ismail filed a review application under Rule 105 Court of Appeal Rules 1994 seeking the court to rehear his appeal.

Earlier, Mohd Ismail’s lawyer Datuk Wan Azmir Wan Majid said the High Court and the Court of Appeal had used the balance of probabilities burden, which is a lower burden of proof, when convicting Mohd Ismail on the charges.

He said the previous appellate court panel had decided that the prosecution only required to prove the elements of money laundering charges against Mohd Ismail on a balance of probabilities instead of beyond reasonable doubt, which is a higher burden of proof that is usually applied to criminal cases.

Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, who was assisted by DPP Mohd Fairuz Johari, countered by saying that Mohd Ismail had failed to meet the requirement for review, adding that all the issues had been ventilated by the previous Court of Appeal panel.

Mohd Ismail was charged with first five charges of using monies obtained from unlawful activities, involving RM10,143.37; RM40,000; RM6,283.09; RM993,716.91 and RM500,000, respectively, to buy and increase investments in Takafullife Insurance Protection Plan and Takafulink Plan registered under his daughter’s name, Nur Aqillah Mohd Ismail.

He also faces two other charges of committing money laundering, involving RM499,620 and RM29,950, using a third party account belonging to one Tan Kim Tee.

Mohd Ismail allegedly committed the offences at the MAA Takaful Building, Jalan Tun Razak, Johor Bahru and in two bank premises, namely RHB and CIMB banks at Jalan Rahmat near Batu Pahat, Johor between Sept 4, 2014 and Dec 28, 2015.

Mohd Ismail faces the eighth charge of posesssing RM1.27 million and 8,178,000 rupiah in his house which were proceeds from unlawful activities.

In 2019, Mohd Ismail was acquitted and discharged by the Johor Bahru Sessions Court of all the money laundering charges. However in 2020, the High Court convicted him on all the charges and sentenced him to four years in jail for each charge, with the sentences to run concurrently. — BERNAMA