CEO charged with cheating NFC director of S$695,200

KUALA LUMPUR: The CEO of a consultancy company pleaded not guilty to two cheating charges involving some RM1.7 million (S$695,200) relating to the controversial National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) issue.

Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail, 45, who is Shamsubahrin Ismail Resources Sdn Bhd CEO, was charged in the Sesssions Court yesterday with promising NFC director Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail a consultation service which he knew was false with the intention to deceive Dr Mohamad Salleh.

He is said to have committed the offence at a restaurant in Bukit Tunku here at 6pm on Nov 20.

Shamsubahrin faces a second charge of duping Dr Mohamad Salleh into handing over RM1.755 million in cheques to him at Mont Kiara between Nov 25 and Dec 6. If convicted, he can be jailed up to 10 years, whipped or fined for each charge under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

DPP Datuk Abdul Razak Musa urged the court to set bail at RM300,000 in one surety, adding that the case was serious.

The prosecutor also said while he did not want the court to be prejudiced, he noted that Shamsubahrin was also being investigated for several other cases.

Pleading for lower bail, however, lead counsel J. Rao said his client has four children and is the sole breadwinner.

"All assets belonging to him have been frozen by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission under the Anti-Money Laundering Act," he said.

Sessions judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain set bail at RM300,000 in one surety and ordered that Shamsubahrin surrender his passport. The judge set Jan 31 for mention of the case.

When approached later, Rao said his client could not post bail yesterday.

Shamsubahrin was arrested on Dec 21 for allegedly attempting to bribe several investigating officers with RM1.7mil over the NFC issue. He was kept under remand at police lock-ups until he was produced in court yesterday to face charges.

NFC became mired in controversy when the 2010 Auditor-General's Report in October stated that the company had failed to meet its cattle production target.

MACC had said last week that a special team led by director of investigations Datuk Mustafa Ali had been formed to investigate allegations against the NFC.

It was stated that NFC was given a RM250mil loan by the Government to turn the local cattle industry into a large-scale business with the aim of helping Malaysia become self-sufficient in beef production.

MACC is investigating the company and also to see if Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who is the wife of Dr Mohamad Salleh, had any part in the awarding of the RM250mil loan.

Lawyer Zarina Ismail acted for Dr Mohamed Salleh.