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BUTTERWORTH: A businessman was charged in the Sessions Court here today with three counts of cheating, one count of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and two counts of misusing company assets involving losses amounting to RM13.4 million.

Chan Eng Leong, 50, pleaded not guilty after all charges were read before Judge Noor Aini Yusof.

According to the first to third charges, Chan is accused of cheating the Global Tobacco Manufacturer (International) Sdn Bhd director, Goh Kim Heong, by inducing the victim to hand over cash amounting to RM11 million to settle two cigarette tax cases with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department as well as one case related to the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) with the Royal Malaysia Police.

The offences were allegedly committed at a premises at Taman Berjaya Indah and Jalan Bukit Teh, Machang Bubok in the Seberang Perai Tengah district, between April 11 and Nov 21, 2019.

All three charges were framed under Section 420 of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, whipping and also liable to a fine, upon conviction.

For the fourth charge, the accused who was then the director of Global Tobacco, was charged with a criminal breach of trust over the company's funds by approving the purchase of property worth RM1.8 million without the company's approval on Oct 1, 2019, at Jalan Bukit Teh, Machang Bubok.

The charge was framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, whipping and a fine if convicted.

Chan was also charged with two counts of misappropriating company assets worth RM600,000 on Oct 3, 2019, at Jalan Bukit Teh, Machang Bubok and was charged under Section 403 of the Penal Code which carries a prison sentence of up to five years, with whipping and liable to a fine, if convicted.

Deputy public prosecutor Muna Mohamed Jaafar applied for the accused to be bailed in a cumulative amount of RM200,000.

Lawyer RSN Rayer, who represented Chan, appealed for a lower bail on the grounds that his client had cooperated well, and had even been brought to court in 2021 on the same charges but was later given a discharge not amounting to acquittal.

The court allowed the accused to be bailed at RM100,000 for all charges and set May 10 for mention. -Bernama