SEREMBAN: In the country’s first online money laundering case investigated by Bank Negara, a couple was charged at a Sessions Court here with 41 counts of money laundering, involving more than RM26mil.
One of them, a British national, was slapped with an additional seven charges involving RM7.5mil at a Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
Bryan John Marsden, 58, and his Malaysian wife Phan Sew Ken, 50, allegedly committed the offences by receiving money that were proceeds of unlawful activities between Aug 12, 2003, and Jan 4, 2005. They claimed trial to all 41 charges.
Marsden, who is a director of two companies, also pleaded not guilty at a Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to seven charges of receiving proceeds of unlawful activities believed to be from illegal deposit-taking in Labuan amounting to RM7.5mil.
As regards the charges at the Seremban Sessions Court, the transactions, amounting to US$7,020,887.25 (RM26,679,371), were said to have been done through their company (New Mark Business Centres Sdn Bhd) account with EON Bank Group in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.
The two were arrested yesterday and charged separately under Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001, read together with Section 87 (1) of the same act, before Sessions Court judge Mohd Zaki Abd Wahab yesterday.
If convicted, they can be fined up to RM5mil or face a maximum five-year jail term or both.
DPP Dzulkifli Ahmad proposed bail at RM1mil in two sureties for each, saying that money laundering was a very serious offence.
However, the couple, who were unrepresented, appealed for a lower bail, saying their company and personal assets had been frozen for the past 12 months and that they did not have any money.
Mohd Zaki set bail at RM500,000 in two sureties each, ordered the surrender of their travel documents and fixed Sept 13 for mention.
At the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, Marsden, of Bandar Sunway, was accused of receiving money ranging between RM500,000 and RM2.5mil, which were proceeds of unlawful activities through two accounts of PIC Capital Sdn Bhd and PIC Capital Ventures (M) Sdn Bhd.
PIC Capital is a leasing company while PIC Capital Ventures is a dormant company.
Marsden, who has been in Malaysia since 1997 and was the owner of the leasing company, was said to have committed the offences at Malayan Banking Bhd in Desa Pandan between Dec 23, 2003, and July 6, last year.
DPP Dzulkifli proposed bail of RM500,000 in two Malaysian sureties.
Marsden told Sessions Court judge Akhtar Tahir: “I have lost everything. There is nothing to say at this stage.”
Akhtar fixed bail at RM500,000 in one Malaysian surety and set Oct 30 for mention pending an application for the case to be transferred to the Seremban court.
After proceedings ended at 4pm yesterday, Marsden was taken to the court lock-up where he hugged his sobbing wife for some time.
A Bank Negara official told reporters later that it was the first investigation of a case where illegal deposit-taking was allegedly done via the Internet.
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