Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng along with his wife Betty Chew as well as business associate Phang Li Koon were today charged with offenses related to money laundering in connection with the construction of a RM11 million (US$2.6 million) foreign worker dormitory.
All three of them pleaded not guilty to the charges today in Penang’s Sessions Court located in Butterworth.
The 60-year-old leader of the Democratic Action Party was accused of allegedly using his position as the Penang chief minister to obtain gratification totaling nearly RM400,000 for Chew.
Phang, 48, was charged with abetting by allegedly ensuring that recruitment agency Magnificent Emblem received an offer to build the dorm. She was said to commit the offense between Aug 2013 and March 2016.
Chew, 55, was charged with one count of money laundering involving the alleged channeling of RM87,009 into her personal bank account by Penang realtor Excel Property Management & Consultancy. This was said to take place between Oct 2013 and 2014.
She was also charged with two more counts of allegedly receiving RM180,000 in two separate transactions by the same realtor.
The string of charges largely centering on Lim began last week when he was surprisingly arrested and later accused in court on Friday for corruption over the Penang undersea tunnel. Lim has pleaded not guilty to soliciting bribes from a construction firm and has claimed trial.
His wife was arrested that same day. She wrote online that she was “furious and confused” after the arrest.
Lim also pleaded not guilty to another charge yesterday involving the Penang undersea tunnel, accusing him of receiving a RM3.3 million bribe.
Each count under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 carries a RM5 million fine and 15 years’ jail.
Each count under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 carries a fine no less than five times the amount solicited and 20 years’ jail.
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