Shafee charged with money laundering and tax-evasion
Published on: Friday, September 14, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Renowned lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was charged in the Sessions Court here Thursday on two counts of receiving money from illegal activities amounting to RM9.5 million from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and two counts of making incorrect filings under the Income Tax Act 1967.Muhammad Shafee, 66, however, pleaded not guilty on the two charges of receiving money from illegal activities and two charges of making incorrect returns without stating the amount of RM9.5 million in his tax returns thus breaching the Income Tax Act 1967.

The charges against him were read before Justice Azura Alwi.

On the first and second charges, Muhammad Shafee was alleged to be involved in the money laundering activities by receiving proceeds from the illegal activities, each amounting to RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million via two cheques from AmIslamic Bank Berhad belonging to Mohd Najib Hj Abd Razak which were credited into two CIMB Bank Berhad accounts belonging to the accused.

Muhammad Shafee was accused of committing both offences at the CIMB Bank Berhad, J2 & K1, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku near here on Sept 13 2013 and Feb 17 2014.

Both charges were filed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA) which provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million and imprisonment not exceeding five years or both upon conviction.

Under the two counts concerning the Tax Act, the accused is charged with being involved directly in transactions involving proceeds from illegal activities namely making an incorrect tax return breaching Paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the Financial Year ended Dec 31, 2013.

For the charge, he is accused of leaving out income received on Sept 13, 2013 amounting to RM4.3 million and income received on Feb 17, 2014 amounting to RM5.2 million via two AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheques belonging to Mohd Najib Hj Abd Razak which were credited into two CIMB Bank Berhad accounts belonging to the accused, where the accused was required by the Income Tax Act 1967 to make a filing on behalf of the accused.

Muhammad Shafee is alleged to have committed both offences at the Inland Revenue Board, Duta Branch, Government Office Complex Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, here on March 3, 2015 and June 29, 2015.

The charges were filed under Section 4(1)(a) Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities 2001 (AMLATFAPUA) which provides for a jail sentence not exceeding 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of unlawful activities at the time the offences were committed or RM5 million, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Former Federal Court Judge and senior counsel ​​​​​​​Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram leads the prosecution team assisted by Deputy Public Prosecutors Kamal Baharin Omar, Ahmad Akram Gharib, and Afzainizam Abdul Aziz.

Muhammad Shafee is represented by counsels Harvinder Singh, Chetan Jethwani, Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican, Sarah Abishegan, Rahmat Hazlan and Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee.

Muhammad Shafee who was standing inside the accused's dock then explained to the court that he never avoided being arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer.

He said no one could travel internationally or domestically without booking a ticket.

"I came back from Johor Bahru around 6pm. If there was MACC officer waiting for me, they would have seen me in my attire. One kind MACC officer asked me what car was I travelling in...even a blind bat could see that car. I have not changed my car. I had a quick dinner and went to Pavilion to see Najib on another matter. My phone is broken and I gave a MACC officer my daughter's number, so they can call my daughter's number," he said from the dock.

Muhammad Shafee also said that the allegation that he was resorting to a magic show to MACC was not fair.

At this juncture Azura interjected and said: "That is enough Tan Sri."


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