Travel agency operator in Malaysia jailed for IS-related offences

KOTA KINABALU - A local travel agency operator was jailed a total of 48 years for six counts of supporting the Islamic State (IS) terror group via the Telegram platform and also financially.

High Court judge Ravinthran N. Paramaguru handed down the sentence on Mohd Firdaus Asren Saputra B.M.S. Asren, 35, who pleaded guilty on Nov 3 to six charges.

Firdaus was jailed eight years for each charge with the sentences to run concurrently.

Firdaus, who was first charged in court on Aug 16 last year, will serve eight years' jail from the date of arrest.

Firdaus was charged with giving support to IS by way of a solemn pledge of loyalty (baiah) and to commit terrorism acts involving explosives via the social media platform.

The charges stated that the baiah and support were made on the Telegram chatting group named "Gagak Hitam" and "amanah (phb) vs pas". On the third charge, Firdaus was accused of assisting the terrorist group financially, by giving RM600 to one Bukhori Chee Noor through a bank account.

For the fourth, fifth and sixth charges, he was charged with depositing RM600 respectively to the same person.

The DPP was Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam while Azhier Farhan Arisin represented Firdaus.

Firdaus was the first person charged in Sabah with IS-related terrorism activities.

The prosecution called 18 witnesses since the trial started on Aug 2.

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