Vietnamese businesswoman gets stay of jail sentence

09 Oct 2020 / 19:57 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: A Vietnamese businesswoman with a ‘Datuk’ title can now proceed with her wedding plans after she was granted a stay by the High Court today against her three-year jail sentence for offering bribes amounting to RM350,000 to a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officer.

Tran Thi Mai, 44, also known as Datuk Maimunah was sentenced to three years jail and fined RM1.75 million by the Sessions Court on Sept 26 after she was found guilty on two counts of offering the bribes to the officer.

Tran is currently serving her prison sentence at Kajang Prison, after the Sessions Court did not allow her application for a stay of execution.

Today, Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin allowed her application to postpone the execution of the jail sentence until the appeal process is completed, however, he ordered the woman to settle the RM1.75 million fine.

The judge also allowed Tran to be released on a RM400,000 bail with two Malaysian sureties and ordered her to surrender her passport to the court and report to the nearest Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office once a month.

Earlier, lawyer G. K Sritharan, representing Tran, submitted that his client, who is a Muslim convert, did not have any previous records and has been living in Malaysia for more than 10 years and would be getting married soon.

“The applicant had never missed a day in court and it is impossible for her to abscond. She only wanted to be with her child who is currently under her future husband’s care.

“She comes from a wealthy family in Vietnam and they can pay the bail. The proof is that she has paid the bail (RM250,000) imposed to her by the Sessions Court,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor Diana Nor Azwa objected to the stay application saying that issues pertaining personal interests were not special reasons.

“The applicant frequently travelled to Vietnam which showed that the she has interests there. There are also rat routes the she can use to escape,“ she said.

Tran was not present in court today because she is undergoing Covid-19 self-quarantine at the prison.

She was charged on the first count with offering RM300,000 in cash to Muhammad Sani Abdullah, 31, as an inducement to Amran Daud, the Maritime director of Sedili District, Johor, to release three Vietnamese fishing boats that were seized by the MMEA in Tanjung Sedili, Kota Tinggi. The boats were suspected of trespassing into Malaysian waters to gather marine produce.

For the second charge, Tran offered RM50,000 as an inducement to Amran for the release of the fourth Vietnamese fishing boat.

The offences were committed at the Hot Gossip Cafe, Park Royal Hotel, Jalan Bukit Bintang, here on May 2, 2017 and Starbucks Restaurant, Pearl Point Shopping Mall here on May 12, 2017. — Bernama

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