BUTTERWORTH: Two company directors pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here today to 10 charges of soliciting RM4 million and receiving RM2.6 million in bribes to resolve excise duty issues with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM).

Chan Eng Leong, 50, director of Global Tobacco Manufacturers (International) Sdn Bhd, and Tan Kok Siang, 50, director of GTM Land & Property Sdn Bhd, were jointly accused of soliciting RM4 million from Goh Choon Kim, as an inducement to help resolve excise duty issues worth RM108 million faced by Global Tobacco Manufacturers.

Both accused were also charged with receiving RM2,675,150 through nine cheques deposited into the bank account of Hotspot Capital (M) Sdn Bhd, owned by Chan.

The offence was allegedly committed at a hotel on Jalan Machang Bubok 2, Bukit Mertajam, in the Seberang Perai Tengah district here on Sept 12, 2019, under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act.

If convicted, they could face a maximum imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Judge Zulhazmi Abdullah set bail for the two accused at RM100,000 each with one surety and ordered them to surrender their passports to the court.

The court set Aug 2 for case mention.

The case is being prosecuted by MACC deputy public prosecutors Wirna Ariffin, Muhammad Taufik Awaludin, and Mohd Syahzada Azad Sanusi, while Chan is represented by lawyer RSN Rayer and Tan by S. Meharaj.