Director charged with laundering RM5.9m

By Sylvia Looi
Lee Ming Chai, who was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti Money-Laundering Act (AMLA), allegedly committed the offences from January 2011 to November 2017. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Nov 13 — A 49-year-old company director claimed trial at the Sessions Court here today to 55 counts of money laundering involving RM5.9 million.

Lee Ming Chai, who was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti Money-Laundering Act (AMLA), allegedly committed the offences from January 2011 to November 2017 at Sitiawan's CIMB Bank Berhad and Malayan Banking Berhad, and Melaka's HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad.

Lee, from Ayer Tawar in Sitiawan, was also charged with nine counts of forgery under Section 471 of the Penal Code.

He was accused of using forged documents at the Companies Commission of Malaysia's Ipoh office, an OCBC branch in Teluk Intan, and a Public Bank branch in Sitiawan.

Deputy public prosecutor Nik Haslinie Hashim initially sought for Lee to be denied bail, but said this should be set at a minimum of RM1 million if granted and for his passport to be confiscated.

Defence lawyer Andrew Yee argued that the bail amount proposed was excessive, adding that Lee was suffering from hypertension and the sole breadwinner of his family.

Yee also said the money in question was rent paid by GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd that operates the Giant hypermarket chain.

Sessions Court judge Norashimah Khalid then set bail at RM1 million for all charges with one surety.

She also ordered Lee to report to the nearest police station monthly and to surrender his passport for the duration of the trial.

Case management was set for January 18.