Charity scam father gets five years’ jail
BARCELONA: A father who caused an uproar in Spain after he used his daughter’s rare illness to raise money f or mainly personal use was sentenced to five years in jail, court officials said on Wednesday.
The case of the young Nadia Nerea, who suffers from a potentially life-threatening genetic disorder, moved the country several years ago when her father Fernando Blanco went from one media outlet to another to publicise her case.
Considered a hero, Blanco, 53, had asked for donations to help pay for a pioneering operation in Houston in the United States that could save her life.
But at the end of 2016, it emerged that of the 422,000 (about RM2 million) raised by his foundation since 2014, just 20,000 (RM95,000) was channelled to his daughter. The rest was used to rent homes, buy vehicles and luxury watches, or pay for hotel stays.
Doctors had supposedly told Blanco his daughter would die from trichothiodystrophy, which in severe cases causes delayed development, intellectual disability, and recurrent infections that can lead to death at an early age. – AFP
GEORGE TOWN: The government is mulling new l aws t o l ook i nto unexplained wealth and to seize “extraordinary assets” owned by individuals, especially politicians. The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is studying the United Kingdom’s Unexplained Wealth Order ( UWO), with the view of introducing it in Malaysia.
Under the UK’s Criminal Finances Act 2017, individuals can be compelled to reveal their sources of unexplained wealth and the National Crime Agency (NCA) can seize the assets of those who fail to account for them.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said such a law would act as a deterrent against plundering of public or private funds.
On the 1MDB scandal, Lim said the government wants to get its money back. “That is why the attorney-general is studying the UWO,”
Bar Council deputy president Datuk Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor welcomed the move, saying some politicians had been living in the lap of luxury with ill-gotten gains.
“Inheritance is one thing, but gaining wealth through corrupt means is another,” he said.
The Financial Times had earlier reported a banker’s wife, Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, was the first person to be questioned under the UWO after she spent £16 million (RM87.3 million) at Harrods.
The NCA also wanted to know how she accumulated the money to buy two UK properties worth £22 million.