‘YUSOF SOROS’ HIT WITH 15 GRAFT CHARGES
Former special officer to city council mayor claims trial to all charges
AHIGH-FLYING former special officer to the Melaka Historical City Council mayor was yesterday charged with 15 counts of money-laundering and criminal breach of trust involving transactions worth RM19.3 million at the Sessions Court here.
Datuk Mohd Yusof Abu Hasan, popularly known as Yusof Soros, was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Monday evening and pleaded not guilty to all 15 charges filed by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz before judge Norma Ismail.
Four charges were under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust, where Yusof was alleged to have acted as an agent for Taraf Budi Development Sdn Bhd and SP Enterprise Sdn Bhd, and deposited four cheques totalling RM11.2 million into his own accounts at two banks in Melaka Raya.
The offences were alleged to have been committed between Feb 23 and Aug 10 last year.
Under Section 409, he is liable to a maximum jail term of 20 years with whipping and fine, if convicted.
Yusof also faced 11 charges under Section 4(1)(b) of the AntiMoney Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 for moving RM8,188,074.87 gained from illegal activities between March 3 and Aug 23 last year.
Each charge carries a maximum jail term of 15 years, whipping and a fine of five times the amount involved, or RM5 million, whichever is higher.
Yusof, who arrived at the court accompanied by supporters at 10.45am, was represented by Azrul Zulkifli Stork and Datuk Khairul Anwar Rahmat, while the prosecution saw Afzainizam alongside Ahmad Akram Gharib, on behalf of MACC.
Yusof stood in the dock wearing a white shirt and jacket, and simply nodded that he understood each charge read out to him, then claimed trial to all charges.
After the plea was recorded, Afzainizam pointed out to the judge that among the charges were several non-bailable offences, but proposed a bail of RM3 million to be set, should the court decide to do so, due to the severity of the charges.
“Breach of trust is a serious offence. RM3 million is a logical sum and with sufficient conditions that there needs to be a surety and the accused’s passport needs to be surrendered to the court.
“He also needs to report to the Melaka MACC office every month,” said Afzainizam.
Azrul then pleaded on behalf of Yusof that the accused had all his assets frozen by MACC and was the sole breadwinner for his wife, eight children, an ailing mother and siblings who are working with him.
Norma set bail at RM1.6 million in one surety and ordered Yusof to surrender his passport to the court and report to the Melaka MACC office each month during the trial period.
Yusof first hit the headlines on Nov 28, when he was remanded to assist in investigations, with MACC then announcing that two of his bank accounts containing millions of ringgit had been frozen and various assets seized.
The investigations came under media scrutiny when Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron admitted in January that he had been visited by MACC to assist in investigations into the case.
On April 23, the New Straits Times reported that Yusof had been appointed into a special functions position in the state machinery, following which MACC confirmed that he would be facing charges soon.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers escorting Datuk Mohd Yusof Abu Hasan, former special officer to the Melaka Historical City Council mayor, to the Sessions Court in Melaka yesterday.