Ipoh couple claim trial to charges of illegal money-lending


IPOH: A husband and wife pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here on Wednesday (April 5) to charges of operating unlicensed money lending business by giving loans to two foreigners on March 30.

Chang Cheong Chin, 51, and his wife Niarini Situmorang, 31, are charged with conducting the business by lending money to Fatmawati Hilmi and Lisma at Bandar Pulai Jaya here at about 10.15am on March 30.

The case was framed under Section 5 (2) of the Moneylenders Act 1951, which provides for a maximum fine of RM1mil or a jail term of up to five years or both upon conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Fatin Hosna Mohamad Zikri proposed bail at RM10,000 in one surety for Chang while bail was not offered to Niarini as she is a foreigner with no permanent residence in Malaysia.

Both accused were represented by National Legal Aid Foundation (NLAF) counsel, EP Seeralasittan.

Judge S. Punitha allowed bail for both accused at RM7,000 each with one surety apart from the additional condition for Niarini to hand over her passport to the court until the settlement of the case.

Meanwhile, Chang and Niarini also pleaded not guilty to another charge under Section 12(1)(f) of the Passports Act 1966 for possessing the passports of four other individuals.

The offence was allegedly committed at Bandar Pulai Jaya here at about 10.15am on March 30.

For the offence, both accused can be imprisoned for a period not exceeding five years and if no other penalty is provided by the act, can be fined not more than RM10,000 or both, if convicted.

The court allowed the two accused to be bailed at RM5,000 each with one surety besides imposing an additional condition on Niarini to hand over her passport until the case is completed. The next mention of the case is set for May 24. - Bernama

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