Vietnamese boat owner admits to offering RM100,000 bribe to MACC officer

KUALA TERENGGANU: A Vietnamese fishing boat owner today pleaded guilty in the sessions court, here, to offering a bribe of RM100,000 to a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer on Nov 5.

Tran Van Sang, 48, had offered the bribe to Kemaman MACC director, Lt Commander (Maritime) Muhammad Rezal Kamal Bashah at Restoran Kampung Meraga Beris, Resorts World Kijal at 12.50pm on that day.

He was jointly charged with committing the offence with a couple, Sa Ly Hah, 29, a Vietnamese, and her husband, Abd Rauf Mohamad, 36, a local. However, the couple pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The three had allegedly jointly offered the bribe as inducement for the release of two Vietnamese fishing boats seized by the MACC under Section 8(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985.

Tran admitted to committing the offence under Section 17(b) and Section 24 of the MACC Act , and read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

He faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the amount of bribe involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Judge Mohamad Haldar Abd Aziz ordered that Tran and Sa be placed in the lock-up until the case mention on Nov 28, while Sa's husband was allowed bail of RM40,000 in one surety and his passport to be surrendered to the court.

MACC deputy public prosecutor Farah Yasmin Salleh appeared for the prosecution, while the three accused were represented by lawyer Rozilawati Mat Hassan.

Sa who had served as a temporary interpreter in assisting the Kemaman MACC base to communicate with arrested Vietnamese fishermen, was arrested by the agency.

According to the MACC, Sa had recently invited Tran to meet at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang to deal with getting the two seized boats, released.

Sa and her husband are also believed to be involved in another such case involving a bribe offer of RM55,000 about three months ago. — Bernama