Tour company director charged with failing to refund over RM130,000 for umrah packages

JOHOR BARU: A tour company director offering pilgrimage packages has been slapped with 16 counts of failing to comply with a Consumer Claims Tribunal order to refund RM131,890 to eight individuals.

Datuk Zulkarnain Endut, 43, pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him before magistrate Nur Fatin Mohamad Farid on Tuesday (March 19).

According to the charge sheets, the accused, one of the company directors of Emraz Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd, allegedly committed the offences at the Consumer Claims Tribunal office in Menara Ansar, Johor Baru, between July 24, 2023 and Jan 10, 2024 by failing between RM4,990 and RM40,470 to eight individuals, amounting to RM131,890.

Each charge was framed under Section 117(1) of the Consumer Protection Act 1999, which carries a fine of up to RM10,000, a jail term of up to two years, or both, upon conviction.

He was slapped with eight charges as representative of the company and another eight charges as the company director.

The case was prosecuted by Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry deputy public prosecutors Mohd Sophian Zakaria, Shafiq Mahadi, and Suhana Mohd, while the accused was represented by Datuk Hanif Hasan.

Suhana had requested bail to be set at RM2,000 for each charge, as the case involved public interest.

She also said the victims had problems tracking down the company directors as they had moved house and the company had shut down.

They had also been charged with 63 similar offences at the Putrajaya Magistrate's Court, 53 charges in Kota Baru, and 51 charges in Seremban.

"The accused had failed to comply with the awards worth RM589,031 in Putrajaya, RM473,730 in Seremban, and RM503,221 in Kota Bharu," he said.

The court then allowed bail to be set at RM500 for each charge with one surety and to report to the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Department office in Putrajaya.

The court also set April 24 for next mention and to hear charges for another company director, Datin Mazuin Mustafa, 43, who could not attend the hearing due to illness.

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