‘Zahid paid RM1.3mil in credit card purchases’

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 03 Dec 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi paid almost RM1.3mil for purchases around the world over a two-year period using four credit cards.

Senior vice-president of Ambank Yeoh Eng Leong (pic), 58, who is in charge of the management of credit card authorisation and fraud control at the bank, testified that the former deputy prime minister made payments totalling RM1,296,715.98 for the credit cards between January 2014 and January 2016.

Yeoh, who was reading his witness statement, was under examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Keng Fatt on the fifth day of the trial of Zahid.

The latter faces a total of 47 charges involving the misappropriation of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds.

Yeoh said the former deputy prime minister was the principal holder of two cards – a Visa Infinite ending with 0344 and World MasterCard ending with 1095, with his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis holding two

supplementary cards.

“All four cards have a combined credit limit of RM250,000. Based on all the credit card statements for the period between November 2013 up to January 2016, I find that all or at least one of the cards were used actively for retail transactions both in Malaysia and overseas.

“Card payments were frequent, but not always on time. This resulted in several late payment charges being imposed on the respective cards,” Yeoh testified.

Besides Kuala Lumpur, he said the cards were used for spendings in Australia, Vietnam, United States, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Indonesia and Britain.

Referring to a credit statement dated April 28, 2014, Yeoh said the Visa card owned by Hamidah was used in several retail transactions in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia amounting to RM130,359.83.

Spendings were recorded in several places, including RM26,893.33 at Burberry Asia Ltd in Kowloon, Hong kong; RM9,500 at Louis Vuitton at Starhill, Kuala Lumpur; RM7,919.35 at Swarovski in Melbourne; and RM18,568.66 at another Louis Vuitton outlet in Southbank, Australia.

The same credit card racked up a total of RM215,542.69 for purchases in New York as billed in a credit card statement dated June 28, 2015.

This includes RM130,313.20 spent at Stefano Ricci, RM17,252.34 at Burberry and RM45,095.60 at Brioni, Yeoh said.

He added that based on payment records for January 2014 to January 2016, Zahid made 37 payments in total.

“Out of the 37 payments, two cheques were returned,” he said, adding that the payments were made using local cheques.

The payments received by AmBank were RM534,412.52 (January-December 2014), RM708,134.47 (January-December 2015) and RM54,168.99 (January 2016), he said.

Asked by DPP Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran about who usually paid for the credit cards, Yeoh said it was Zahid as the principal cardholder.

Of the 47 charges he faces, 12 are for CBT, eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

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