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"A penny for your thoughts"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cleanse your sins for a fee?

Wednesday November 21, 2007

Cleanse your sins for a fee?

KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian man was charged in a Sessions Court here with cheating a company director of RM208,272.47 under the pretext of cleansing the sins of his family.

Agus Djunara, 56, from Sundar, is alleged to have duped Mohammad Arshad Othman, 67, into believing that he and his Indonesian wife Andi Putri Zahara could cleanse the sins of Arshad's family of four.

The unemployed man thereby allegedly induced Arshad to hand over the cash to him for the purpose at a house in Desa Pandan in Cheras between July 12 and Nov 7.

If convicted, he can be sentenced up to 10 years' jail, whipped and fined under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

Agus also faces a second charge of deceiving Arshad into believing that two bags and a box, which they (Agus and Andi) had given to him, contained a certain amount of cash in Malaysian ringgit and Singapore dollars to be invested in his trading company - Syarikat Mohammad Arshad Othman.

He was said to have committed the offence at the same place in September although he knew that the bags only contained two RM100 notes and two S$50 notes.

He is alleged to have cheated Arshad into believing that he would invest in the trading company.

If found guilty, he can be sentenced up to five years jail or fined or both under Section 417 of the Penal Code.

Arshad, of Kampung Pandan, had lodged a complaint over the alleged cheating on Nov 15.

On Wednesday, Agus claimed trial upon hearing his charges.

Prosecuting officer Chief Insp Zolkifli Mohd Yasin asked the court to deny bail saying that it was in view of the accused being a foreigner and involved in a case of public interest.

C/Insp Zolkifli said the case involved huge losses and that the prosecution was concerned that the accused may abscond if bail was given to him.

However, C/Insp Zolkifli said the prosecution would offer him RM100,000 bail in two Malaysian sureties if the court intended to grant him bail.

When Judge Rozana Ali Yusoff queried Agus about his status, the accused said he came to the country a year ago with a valid passport.

"I came to the country on a tourist permit and would go back to Indonesia each month to renew my visa," he said.

Agus, who was neatly attired in a black jacket, a green shirt and dark pants, told the judge he did not have a bailor and was prepared to be remanded pending trial.

Rozana granted his bail at RM10,000 in two Malaysian sureties for each charge.

The judge impounded his passport and ordered him to report to the nearest police station once a month until the disposal of the case and set Dec 18 for mention.

Agus failed to post bail.

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