KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 2020: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has failed in its bid to forfeit RM4,631,602 that was seized from a media company for allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
High Court judicial commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh in his judgement said MACC had failed to prove that the money in Mediaedge Cia Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s bank account was proceeds from unlawful activities.
He said a forfeiture application is not a mechanism to compel parties that received the disputed money to return or repay the money that is no longer in their possession.
He said money that can be forfeited under Section 56 of Act 613 (Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities 2001) must be proceeds from unlawful activities.
“I find, based on the balance of probability, that the applicant (MACC) has failed to prove the conditions provided under Section 56 (2) (a) (iii) and Section 56 (2) (b) of Act 613. Thefore, I dismiss the application by MACC,” said Ahmad Shahrir.
He added that Mediaedge was a legitimate business entity that conducts business as a media relations service provider and the money in question was paid to it for its services.
He pointed out that Mediaedge had used the money to pay for the media slots and time purchased by ORB (ORB Solutions Sdn Bhd under a media service agreement.
He said when Mediaedge’s bank account was frozen on June 29, 2018, the balance in the account was RM9,583,292.3, but the amount was not payment from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“This is specifically stated in the affidavit by Mediaedge. Unfortunately, the MACC in its affidavit simply stated that it had no knowledge of it,” he added.