Former Navy chief to be charged

PUTRAJAYA: Former Navy chief Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor (pic) is expected to be charged in court today with criminal breach of trust totalling more than RM20mil in connection with the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal.

The 78-year-old was the former managing director of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), the company building the six ships which have yet to be delivered.

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He will face at least three charges at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court at Jalan Duta, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation.

“Yes, he (Ahmad Ramli) will be charged,” a source told The Star.

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Ahmad Ramli is expected to be charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code for committing criminal breach of trust involving BNS funds.

He is alleged to have approved payments without the agreement of the company’s board of directors.

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One of the charges involved a payment of about RM13mil to Setaria Holdings Limited, which was done without BNS board approval.

Ahmad Ramli was named Navy chief in October 1996.

He retired in 1998 after serving the Royal Malaysian Navy for 35 years.

In July, The Star said that anti-corruption investigators were sure they had enough proof to charge a number of people involved in the multi-billion ringgit LCS project.

On Aug 4, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed that some RM1.4bil in government allocations for the LCS project had been used for other purposes, including cost overruns.

The two-year probe by PAC also revealed that the RM9bil project was done through direct negotiations with Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd and was inked in 2014.

Ahmad Ramli was one of the two names implicated and is mentioned repeatedly in the PAC report.

Following the report, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob directed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to expedite investigations into the LCS case and told the Attorney-General to prosecute those responsible if there was enough evidence.

The Prime Minister said the Cabinet had also decided that two high-level investigative reports, including one by the governance, procurement and finance investigation committee, be made public.

The other, a forensic audit report on the project conducted in 2019, will be declassified.

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