Former Sabah Water department deputy director Teo Chee Kong pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court in Kota Kinabalu today to 146 counts of money laundering, involving more than RM32 million.
Teo, 52, made the plea after all the charges were read out before judge Nixon Kennedy Kumbong.
He was alleged to have committed the offence through power abuse in the implementation of federal-funded projects by the Sabah Water Department between 2010 and 2016.
Of the total charges, 78 were framed under Section 4 (1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, for possession of 70 pieces of land obtained through unlawful activities through 78 transactions, involving RM12,705,203.
The remaining 68 charges were made under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, where six of them were for possession of cash of RM7,930,810 and the others, involving RM12,287,240, in bank accounts in eight financial institutions.
Nixon allowed Teo to be released on bail of RM1.5 million with two local sureties and also ordered him to surrender his passport to the court.
The court set Jan 16 next year for case management.
Deputy public prosecutors from MACC, Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abdul Rahman and Mohd Hafiz Hashim prosecuted, while Teo was represented by lawyers Roland Cheng and Hamid Ismail.
On Oct 4 last year, Teo was arrested with department director Awang Mohd. Tahir Mohd. Talib, 54, by MACC after the commission found a total of RM52 million in cash stashed in their homes and office, as well as other items, including jewellery.