PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli lodged a report with Bank Negara today, urging it to investigate timber tycoon Michael Chia and several Umno leaders for possible money laundering.

NONEThose he wants investigated are Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, de facto Law Minister Nazri Aziz, an unnamed Umno leader whom Tuaran MP Wilfred Bumburing said had received Chia's RM40 million "political donation" and any other Umno leader with knowledge of the transaction.

"The integrity and reputation of the central bank is at stake," Rafizi said after emerging from the Bank Negara headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

"Like the previous swift action taken on alleged breach of the banking laws, I think the public will expect exactly the swift action under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 in this matter, especially since such offences are a lot more detrimental to the reputation of the country."

Rafizi himself has, after investigations by Bank Negara, been charged under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 for disclosing financial accounts related to the National Feedlot Corporation.

Speaking to reporters, Rafizi pointed out that under Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, a money launderer includes a person who is involved in the transfer of proceeds of illegal activities but fails to take reasonable measures to check whether the source of the funds are illegal.

Under Section 14(b) of the Act, Rafizi said, banking employees are required by law to report to Bank Negara if there is reason to suspect that a transaction involves unlawful activities.

Since the money had been investigated for corruption and frozen in Aug 2008, Rafizi said, "Automatically by that virtue... it becomes the responsibility of the banks involved, through their standard operating procedures, to red flag this as possible money laundering and report it to Bank Negara."

Transaction cleared

Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan had said that Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) had cleared the transaction of any corruption, while Nazri had said Malaysian authorities had cooperated fully with its investigations.

However, Rafizi said he would not be satisfied until he obtained confirmation from ICAC on the status of the case.

ICAC declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Malaysiakini.

Continuing his list of reasons why Bank Negara should investigate the transaction, Rafizi pointed out that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had said that the RM40 million was for Sabah Umno.

wilfred bumburing lazim ukin 100612However, Bumburing (right) claimed that the money was transferred to the personal account of an Umno leader while former Umno Supreme Council member Lajim Ukin said he never knew that the money was Umno's.

"So it is clear that this ‘Umno leader X' was acting as a frontman on behalf of Umno.

"As a frontman, his background, sources of income and activities must be investigated and the source of the money, by law, must be traced and ascertained that it did not come from illegal activities," Rafizi said.

Under Section 16(3) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, he said, financial institutions must obtain and record the personal details of account holders, especially if that person was acting as a nominee or agent for another.

Lastly, Rafizi said, between August 2008 and 2010, foreign transactions above RM200,001 needed to be reported to Bank Negara, in accordance to the central bank's circular ‘ECM4 - General Payments'.

He urged Bank Negara to investigate whether such declaration was made during the transaction.