By Bernama | Free Malaysia Today

Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan is accused of soliciting bribes and money laundering over a RM232 million highway contract.

The Sessions Court today heard how Nepturis Sdn Bhd – the company linked to Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan in his corruption and money laundering trial – obtained a four-star rating from the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

CIDB assistant engineer Siti Nooraishah Zainal Abidin said a letter in the name of Nepturis Sdn Bhd was released from CIDB’s centralised information management system (CIMS) after the company applied for the contractor capability and capability evaluation programme (SCORE).

“The CIMS system will issue a reference number in the SCORE application process. As a result of a review of the documents uploaded by Nepturis, the company obtained a four-star rating.

“I confirm that I saw the CIDB SCORE in the name of Nepturis Sdn Bhd dated Oct 26, 2021,” the fifth prosecution witness said during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Siti Amirah Ali.

It has been alleged that Nepturis was assisted by Wan Saiful to obtain the RM232 million Central Spine Road – Sertik to East Coast Highway Interchange project from the government.

Asked by Amirah why a company would receive a CIDB star rating, Nooraishah said it was to give recognition to contractors who had the ability and capability.

She said CIDB made the assessment based on the documents uploaded by the contractor or company, including on business performance, financial ability, technical ability, business management, project management, best practices, and management ability.

Asked by Wan Saiful’s counsel, Amer Hamzah Arshad, whether the CIDB score was a condition for a contractor to bid for government projects, Nooraishah said it was up to the client.

According to her, in addition to assessing a company’s ability, CIDB would also check its Bumiputera status.

Wan Saiful, 48, is charged with soliciting bribes from Lian Tan Chuan as an inducement for him to assist Nepturis in obtaining the RM232 million Central Spine Road – Sertik to the East Coast Expressway Intersection project.

He was also charged with receiving RM6.96 million in cash via a CIMB Bank Bhd account owned by his company WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd from Nepturis’s Maybank Islamic Bhd account as a fee for assisting the company in obtaining the project’s acceptance letter.

The Tasek Gelugor MP allegedly committed both offences at the Royal Lake Club, Taman Tasik Perdana, here, in April 2022 and at the CIMB Bank Bhd Bukit Tunku branch between July 8 and Sept 30, 2022.

He is also facing 18 charges of laundering RM5.59 million by transferring and using the illegal proceeds to pay for a Ford Ranger, payments to the National Sports Council, and transferring the money to several company accounts, including one owned by Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd.

All the offences were allegedly committed at the CIMB Bank Bhd Bukit Tunku branch here between Aug 12 and Nov 13, 2022, under section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The hearing before judge Rozina Ayob will continue on April 29.