Witness: Friend behind Tabung Haji scam


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 21 Oct 2003

BY SIMON KHOO

SEREMBAN: A key prosecution witness told a Sessions Court here that he was being used by a childhood friend who lured him into making illegal withdrawals from a bank with the help of insiders. 

Sayid Abdullah Sayid Moha-mmad, 52, who is serving a four-year jail term for fraud, said the friend – whom he only knew as “Kori” and came from his village in Kota Baru, Kelantan, was the mastermind behind the scam. 

He said they were friends since young but had lost contact until they met at a hotel in Jalan Raja Muda towards the end of 2000. 

“We happened to stay in the same hotel and 10 months later, I told him that I was having financial difficulties. 

“He then suggested that I withdrew money from a bank without getting convicted as they would be getting inside help. 

“I thought it over for two to three days and I agreed as I saw it as an opportunity to make some money, although I knew it was wrong,” he said to a question from defence counsel Shukri Mohamad. 

Sayid Abdullah said he then handed over a photocopy of his identity card and two passport photographs and was told by “Kori” to wait for the right time. 

He also told the court that it was not his style to wear a skullcap but had worn one during the transaction period as a camouflage. 

Sayid Abdullah was testifying at the trial of former Tabung Haji employee Mohd Nor Hisham Abdul Wahab, 22, and car dealer Mohd Hasbullah Zulkifli, 30, who are jointly charged with two counts of cheating Tabung Haji of RM700,000 in 2001. 

Mohd Nor Hisham and Mohd Hasbullah are said to have committed the offence through Sayid Abdullah, who had presented himself as Wan Haron Wan Hamid, the genuine bearer of a Tabung Haji account. 

The two are said to have knowingly used a false identity card to induce staff and officers at the Negri Sembilan Tabung Haji office in Jalan Tuanku Munawir to hand over to Sayid Abdullah three cheques amounting to RM300,000 on Aug 15, 2001. 

Under the second charge, the two are said to have cheated staff and officers of Tabung Haji on Aug 16, 2001, through Sayid Abdullah in the same manner, involving four other cheques totalling RM400,000. 

They were charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Act, which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years, whipping and a fine. 

The prosecution was led by DPP Syed Faisal Syed Amir assisted by DPP Mohd Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi while the accused were represented by Edmund Bon and Suzana Norlihan Alias. 

Hearing before judge Supiah Meon continues tomorrow.  

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