Pensioner fined RM32,000 for false claims

Abang Sapawi (left) and an MACC officer at the court lobby.

KUCHING: A pensioner from the Tatanegara Bureau Sarawak was slapped with a fine of RM32,000 or ten months jail after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of alternative charges involving a false claim up to RM45,000, on Monday (Nov 16).

Sessions Court Judge Nixon Kennedy Kumbong ordered the accused, Abang Sapawi @Abang Sepawaie Abang Nor, 57, to be fined after he pleaded guilty to Section 471 of the Penal Code.

Abang Sapawi admitted to making 10 false claims involving RM45,000 to Tatanegara Bureau Sarawak for the alleged supply of food rations that had never existed in four different locations statewide — three in Samarahan, three in Sibu and four in Miri.

An accomplice identified as Yunus @ Gani Taib, 57, who decided to plead not guilty to the same charges, was released on bail of RM10,000 for each count with two sureties pending trial on December 18.

The offence came to light after an assistant superintendent identified as Abdul Rahman Ajmal Khan lodged a report at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) that on July 2018 an officer attached to Tatanegara Bureau of Sarawak has abetted with B&D Enterprise for claiming false claims.

They made false claims that they provided food for two programmes, ‘Programme with the Director-General’ and ‘Cinta Negara’, at the Tatanegara Bureau Sarawak on Jan 17, 2016 amounting RM4,500 at the Senayang multipurpose hall in Kota Samarahan.

In 2016, Sarawak Tatanegara Bureau (Sarawak BTN) organised a Cinta Negara programme and a statewide ‘Latihan Transformasi Negara’ programme.

It was alleged that B&D Enterprise, owned wholly by Rohana Bani, was to provide catering for BTN Sarawak in the Cinta Negara programme at Senayang multipurpose hall in Kota Samarahan on Jan 28, 2016.

Rohana admitted she worked with the accused (Abang Sapawi), who was the assistant administrative of finance at the Bureau and had asked her to prepare a false claim of RM4,500, making use of the invoice.

Rohana did as she was instructed, but clarified that she had never provided food for the programme even though an invoice dated Jan 29, 2016 showed otherwise.

She insisted that she had never entrusted other companies to cater on behalf of her company and her remarks were confirmed by an officer of the Samarahan District office.

MACC prosecuting officer Nur Nisla Abdul Latiff, assisted by Ikhwan Ibrahim and Miller Jawoi, prosecuted the case while both accused were not represented.

Abang Sapawi paid his fine.