By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU – Fauziah Piut, the wife of former Sabah Water Department director Awang Mohd Tahir, was a surprise suspect at the Sessions Court here Thursday, where the couple were among three people charged with money laundering.
Fauziah, 51, who was charged before Sessions Court Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad faced 19 charges involving RM2.2 million.
Awang Mohd Tahir, 54, Fauziah, as well as former deputy director Lim Lam Beng, 62, were charged under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 for abetting the commission of money-laundering.
All three pleaded not guilty and will be released on bail, (which has yet to be announced).
Awang Mohd Tahir was charged with 12 counts of money laundering involving a total of RM56.9mil.
The couple also claimed trial to two counts of possessing 575 pieces of jewellery and 346 other valuable items.
Sabah finance ministry advisor Lim Lam Beng, 62, who was at one time a deputy director in the Water Department, was charged with four counts of money laundering involving RM2.38 million.
The three suspects arrived at the court compound here in a van at 9.30am.
They covered their faces with jackets and other materials as they were escorted by MACC officers into the court.
The courtroom was packed as family members, reporters and MACC officers flocked the gallery to witness the session.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki is currently holding a press conference in relation to the ‘Op Water’ investigations.
Counsel for Ag Mohd Tahir and wife, JP Pereira was not present in court. He was represented by Hairul Vaiyron and Ariel C Dasan.
The prosecution was led by deputy public prosecutor Husmarudin Husin and Farez Rahman.