Support firm first to be charged under new section of MACC Act

SHAH ALAM: An offshore vessel support company became the first business entity to be brought to book under the new Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

Pristine Offshore Sdn Bhd was charged at the Sessions Court here on Thursday (March 18) with offering a bribe amounting to RM321,350 to secure a sub-contract from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.

Section 17A of the Act addresses the issue of corporate governance, and allows for companies to be held liable and charged in court in the event that their officers offer or give bribes to secure business.

Pristine Offshore Sdn Bhd had allegedly given the bribe to one Mazrin Ramli of Deleum Primera Sdn Bhd as an inducement to secure a sub-contract from Petronas Carigali.

The inducement was allegedly given to Mazrin, who is Deleum Primera chief operating officer, by Pristine Offshore director Chew Ben Ben between June 29 and Oct 14 last year in Kinrara Niaga 3, Puchong.

Pristine Offshore’s charge was read to its director Datuk Abdul Kamal Mohd Mydeen who represented the company and was its surety.

Earlier, Chew was charged separately in the same court under Section 16(b)(A) of the MACC Act 2009 for bribing Mazrin.

Both charges were read before Sessions Court judge Rozilah Salleh who asked Abdul Kamal if he understood his role in the case.

“A company is being charged here and its representative must be in court as on behalf of the company.

“If the representative does not attend court, the bail amount will be forfeited, ’’ said Rozilah.

If a company is found guilty and a prison sentence is meted out, under Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009, one of its directors or a member of its management team or its company secretary would have to serve the jail term as stipulated by the Companies Act 2016.

If found guilty, Pristine Offshore is liable to a fine of not less than 10 times the amount of the bribe involved as well as a jail term not exceeding 20 years.

Chew, meanwhile, faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine not less than five times the inducement amount if found guilty.

Both the company and Chew claimed trial.

Rozilah set bail at RM200,000 and RM150,000 respectively for Pristine Offshore and Chew with one surety each.

Chew also had to surrender his passport to the court.

MACC DPP Ahmad Akram Gharib prosecuted while Pristine Offshore and Chew were represented by Chong Ki Keong and Azim Razak.

Rozilah fixed May 25 for the case to be mentioned.

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