KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Musa Aman has claimed trial at a Sessions Court here to 16 new money-laundering charges, involving US$37.8mil and S$2.5mil, amounting to about RM160mil.
The 68-year-old former Sabah chief minister pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him before Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob here on Tuesday (March 5).
According to the first charge, Musa allegedly ordered one Richard Christopher Barnes, 67, to open a bank account at UBS AG Bank in Singapore under the name Richard Christopher Barnes, to receive the proceeds from illegal activities.
Musa was also charged with an alternative charge of hiding his belongings which were proceeds from illegal activities at the same place and time.
For the second until 15th charge, Musa allegedly received US$17,195,700 from one Chia Tien Foh; US$4,883,375 from Young Generation Corp; US$4,044,956.82 from one Lo Man Heng; US$1,413,681.74 from one Mazlan Zakaria; US$7,3mil and S$2.5mil from Axon Group Ltd; US$1,951,775.50 from Well Capital Finance Limited; US$650,000 from Innovative Information Ltd and US$406,003.29 from Portland Trading Pte Ltd, through Barnes' bank account.
For the 16th charge, Musa was accused of ordering Barnes to transfer all assets and future inflows from Barnes' bank account to his own account at UBS AG Bank in Zurich, Switzerland whereby the assets and future inflows were proceeds from illegal activities.
All of the offences were allegedly committed at UBS AG Bank in Singapore and UBS AG Bank in Hong Kong between June 21, 2006 and May 14, 2008.
The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, which carries a jail sentence of up to 15 years and can be fined no less than five times the amount of illegal proceeds or RM5mil, whichever is higher, if convicted.
DPP Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran did not offer bail.
She also asked for the case to be tried together with Musa's previous case before the same court involving 35 charges and US$63mil.
Rozina allowed for joint trial and ordered for Musa's previous bail to be used in this case.
Lawyer Francis Ng represented the accused. The case is fixed for mention on April 15.
On Nov 5, 2018, Musa claimed trial to 35 counts of graft amounting to US$63mil (about RM243mil) relating to timber concessions in Sabah. The offences were allegedly committed between Dec 24, 2004 and Nov 6, 2008.