BUKIT Aman’s criminal investigation department chief Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd has had A$320,000 (RM971,728) seized by Australian Federal Police from his Sydney bank account on suspicion of money laundering, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Wan Ahmad, however, is not fighting to have the money returned. The report said Bukit Aman had already cleared him after an internal inquiry last year which followed an alert from Australian police.
Wan Ahmad, who was promoted to CID chief in April last year, had purportedly said his bank account there which was opened in 2011, was for money to pay for his daughter’s master’s degree.
But the report said a week after he concluded a trip to Australia in 2016, the account received “a flurry of suspicious cash deposits.”
“The account balance grew by nearly US$290,000 in a month, mostly in structured deposits below US$10,000, the threshold above which law enforcement agencies receive mandatory notifications,” SMH reported.
SMH quoted Allaudeen Abdul Majid of the integrity unit saying Malaysian police had fully investigated the matter and found that the funds were lawfully obtained from the sale of a house and that Wan Ahmad had wanted to send money to his daughter.
Allaudeen had also said that Wan Ahmad had asked a close friend, an Indian national named Seenisirajudeen Mohamad Basith, to handle the transfer of funds for him and the money was transferred without compliance to Australian laws.
“The whole episode was an oversight. No malice was intended to break any laws including Australia’s,” he was quoted as telling Australian investigators.
Bukit Aman’s investigation report was sent last March and Australian authorities won the forfeiture order on Wan Ahmad’s account a week later.
The applications to the New South Wales Supreme Court to seize Wan Ahmad’s funds from the account was based on the deposits it received and is not exploring whether he was involved in chargeable offences, the paper said.
The account was opened in Wan Ahmad’s name at the Commonwealth Bank’s Haymarket branch in Sydney during a trip in 2011. At the time, he was head of police in Johor.
The Malaysian Insight has contacted Wan Ahmad and Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun and is awaiting their response.
Wan Ahmad has denied any wrongdoing to SMH and said he is not fighting to have the money returned because of high legal costs.
Prior to that, records showed hat he had visited Australia on a tourist visa nine times since 2011, staying for less than a week and sometimes carrying lots of cash.
In December the following year after the account was opened, a deposit of AU$30,000 was received while AU$8,000 was withdrawn.
Australian police was reported saying this was money for his son’s studies at the time, after which the account lay dormant until 2016.
It became active after Wan Ahmad’s visit to Australia in September that year. There were numerous cash deposits from five different states of which 54 “fell below the reporting threshold” and triggered alerts to his bank and financial crime tracker AUSTRAC.
By the time Wan Ahmad was appointed CID chief, he had been cleared by Bukit Aman’s investigation.
SMH said that six months after the funds were seized, Australian police liaison officers in Kuala Lumpur were photographed posing with him.