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Tuesday February 5, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 12:02:49 PM
by ruben sario AND stephenie lee
KOTA KINABALU: A Malaysian man accused of cheating 15,000 people in a massive pyramid scheme in the Philippines has been jailed for two years by the Magistrate's Court here.
Businessman Mohammad Kamal Sa'ad, 47, pleaded guilty Monday after being charged under Section 12(1) (d) of the Passport Act 1966, which provides a fine of up to RM10, 000 or jail terms of up to five years or both.
He was charged before Magistrate Nuruhuda Mohd Yusof at the male medical ward of the Queen Elizabeth hospital here where he is undergoing treatment for a liver ailment.
According to the facts of the case tendered by prosecuting officer Insp Azwal Azman, Mohammad Kamal was found to be in possession of a Philippines passport under the name of Amililio Manuel Karingal on Jan 25, at about 5.30pm at the departure hall of Terminal 2, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) here.
A police team also found on Mohammad Kamal a MyKad identity card bearing his name.
Further police investigations found that he had fraudulently obtained the Philippines passport.
In seeking a lighter sentence for his client, counsel Hairul V. Othman said Mohammad Kamal was first-time offender who was remorseful of his actions.
Earlier, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said Malaysia was willing to hand over Mohammad Kamal, who is wanted by the Philippines authorities.
Hamza said proper procedures under Asean's Mutual Assitance in Criminal Matters Act 2002 had to be complied with before they could hand over Manuel Karingal Amalilio.
He said police received an application from the Philippines Government to pick up Mohammad Kamal but this had to be rejected as they had not gone through the procedure according to the Act.
The application letter has to go through the Philippines Attorney-General and Foreign Ministry before being handed over to Malaysia's Foreign Ministry, Attorney-General and police, he said.
Mohammad Kamal is alleged to have operated a company Aman Futures Group, and claimed to be a nephew of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman, while luring thousands of Filipino investors into his investment scheme offering 67% in returns.
He fled the Philippines for Sabah in November immediately after Philippines President Benigno Aquino III ordered his arrest as over 15,000 investors were cheated of around 12bil Pesos (RM895mil) under the scam.
Meanwhile, Musa was quoted in an online news reports as saying that Mohammad Kamal was a “distant relative” but this should not be a hindrance for any action against him.
He said the Sabah government did not and would not intervene in this matter.
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