By Nizam Zain
SHAH ALAM – Fugitive businessman, Nicky Liow Soon Hee was charged at the Sessions Court with 26 counts of charges over involvement in money-laundering activities amounting to RM36 million from 2016 to 2021.
However, he, who is better known as Nicky, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial before Judge Helina Sulaiman.
According to the charges, Nicky, from 2016 until 2021 was directly involved in the transactions of proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to RM36,892,424.30 deposited into his personal Maybank account.
Nicky, 34, was charged with money-laundering offences under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001 (Act 613) and is punishable under subsection 4(1) of the similar act.
AMLATFPUAA carries the sentence of imprisonment of not more than 14 years, fine not less than 5 times of the value of the proceeds of an unlawful activity or RM5 million, whichever is higher.
Earlier, Selangor Deputy Public Prosecutor, Rozaliana Zakaria did not offer any bail as Nicky was listed as a police fugitive and the red alert was also issued by the Interpol.
Besides that, the accused is also not eligible for bail following the high risk of him to escape, especially when he has become police fugitive for over a year and he only turned himself in yesterday.
“Various efforts to track the accused down, including media notices, red notice and Interpol website were used.
“The Interpol red notice was issued on Nicky on 20 April 2021 and he has been the PDRM fugitive since 30 April 2021.
“The accused did not come forward to any police stations until yesterday,” she said.
However, Defence Counsel, Datuk Rajpal Singh said, although AMLATFPUAA does not provide bail, it is up to the court’s discretion to do so. In addition, the accused is married and has two young children aged two and a half years old and one year old.
Rajpal also said that if his client wishes to escape, he wouldn’t have voluntarily surrendered himself at Bukit Aman yesterday to be charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court today.
“A person is innocent until proven guilty. He would not run away from the charges as he believes that he did not commit any offences. There is no proof that he was on the run. He has been in Malaysia the whole time,” he added.
Rajpal suggested for RM500,000 bail with two sureties, besides reporting to the police station every week and surrendering his passport to the court.
After consideration, Judge Helina allowed Nicky to be bailed at RM1 million with two sureties. She also ordered the accused to report himself to the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) twice a month and surrender his passport to the court.
The Shah Alam Sessions Court set 26 May 2022 for the mention of case. -MalaysiaGazette