KUALA LUMPUR: In two years, former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his wife spent almost RM1.3 million around the world, including for shopping.
The expenditure involved four Ambank credit cards with a combined credit limit of RM250,000, the High Court heard today.
The credit cards were utilised by the couple between Jan 2014 and Jan 2016 in Malaysia and abroad including at luxury fashion outlets in the United States (USA), Italy, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Ukraine and the United Kingdom (UK).
Ambank senior vice-president Yeoh Eng Leong, who is in charge of the management of credit card authorisation and fraud control, said the total amount of payment made by Zahid as the principal cardholder for the credit cards was RM1,296,715.98.
Yeoh, 58, was testifying in Zahid’s trial involving 47 criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering charges involving millions of ringgit of charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds.
The witness said Zahid was the principal holder of two cards, an AmIslamic Bank Visa Infinite and an AmIslamic Bank World MasterCard while his wife, Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis, was the supplementary holder for the two cards respectively.
“All four cards have a combined credit limit of RM250,000.
“Based on all the credit card statements between Nov 2013 up to Jan 2016, I find that all or at least one of the cards were used actively for retail transactions in Malaysia and overseas.
“Card payments were frequent but not always on time.
“This resulted in several late payment charges being imposed on the cards,” he said.
He said, according to the bank’s records, there were no disputes or complaints of unauthorised transaction from the cardholders.
The details of Zahid’s credit card statements was read out by Yeoh today.
He began reading out the details with the Dec 2013 statement where it was recorded that the Zahid had used his MasterCard in UK for several retail transactions totaling RM63,701.52. This included RM55, 402.40 at Ermenegildo Zegna and RM7, 043.29 at Harrods in London on a single day in Dec 23, 2013.
Based on the April 28, 2014, statement, Yeoh said Hamidah’s Visa card was recorded at being used for RM130, 359.83 in several retail transactions in Hong Kong , Malaysia and Australia.
He said according to the statement, the expenditures were recorded in several places including RM26,893.33 spent at Burberry Asia Ltd in Kowloon, Hong Kong, RM9,500 at Louis Vuitton in Starhill, Kuala Lumpur, RM7,919.35 at Swarovski in Melbourne, Australia, and RM18,568.66 at another Louis Vuitton outlet in Southbank, Australia.
In a June 28, 2015, statement of the same card, Yeoh said it was recorded that Hamidah had spent RM215,542.69 for purchases in New York including RM130,313.20 at Stefano Ricci, RM17,252.34 at Burberry and RM45,095.60 at Brioni.
The witness said with regards to payments made for the cards for January 2014 to January 2016, Zahid as the principal cardholder, made 37 payments in total via local cheques.
“Out of the 37 payments, two cheques were returned,” he said.
Asked by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran who usually paid for the credit cards, Yeoh replied, Zahid as the principal cardholder.
Trial continues before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah tomorrow.
On Oct 19 and Dec 14, 2018, as well as Feb 20 this year, Zahid had pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court to a total of 47 charges, 12 of which are for CBT, eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.