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Two freed on charges of jet engine theft, money-laundering

A former Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF) sergeant and a businessman were freed by the Sessions Court in Putrajaya today, on charges relating to theft of two jet engines belonging to the Air Force, and money-laundering.

Judge Aslam Zainuddin ordered the two men to be released after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against N Tharmendran and K Rajandran Prasad on all the charges.

He acquitted and discharged the duo at the end of the prosecution's case, without ordering them to enter their defence.

Tharmendran, 48, who now works as a driver to a company director, was charged with conspiring with Senior Airman Mohamad Shukri Mohamad Yusop at the Subang RMAF Air Movement Section to steal two J8521-type engines from the Kuala Lumpur RMAF Material Processing Shed, Matra 1 in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur.

He allegedly committed the offence in December 2007.

Rajandran, 44, was accused of assisting in the disposal of the two F-5 jet engines at 49 Jalan TS 6/6 Taman Industri Subang on April 30, 2008.

On money-laundering, Tharmendran was charged with three counts of committing the offence at Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad in Subang Jaya, Selangor, on March 25, 2008, April 1, 2008 and April 28, 2008.

As for Rajandran, he was charged with five counts of money laundering, involving RM437,319.50, and the offence was allegedly committed at HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad at Wisma UEP, USJ 10 Business Centre in Subang Jaya, Selangor, between April 18 and June 10, 2008.

The prosecution called 54 witnesses to testify in the trial which began on July 22, 2011. Tharmendran was represented by counsel Rajpal Singh, while Rajendran was represented by lawyers Gobind Singh Deo and Haijan Omar.

Deputy public prosecutors Muhd Ilmani Ahmad and Asmah Musa appeared for the prosecution.

- Bernama

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