Judiciary couple’s case: Testimonies given on luxury car purchases

Fadley Faisal

Evidence from bankers concluded yesterday, which continued with testimonies surrounding luxury car purchases in the prosecution’s case against Ramzidah binti Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Colonel (Rtd) Haji Abdul Rahman and Haji Nabil Daraina bin Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin in the High Court.

A bank teller from Bank A confirmed processing a deposit transaction of BND291,000 into the defendants’ joint account, consisting of 12 pieces of BND10,000 notes, 60 pieces of BND1,000 notes, 142 pieces of BND500 notes and 400 pieces of BND100 notes.

The cash deposit was made on December 4, 2015, with funds which were claimed to be sourced from ‘home savings’.

According to the BND10,000 report submitted to Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), the deposit was made by Ramzidah.

On March 17, 2016, another bank teller from the same bank processed a cash deposit of BND300,000, consisting of 30 pieces of BND10,000 notes, which were claimed to be derived from the ‘share of the sale of property owned by parents’ and also ‘sales of car’.

Accordingly, the depositor’s information was keyed into the bank’s BND10,000 report and was reflected to be made by Haji Nabil Daraina. It was suggested by Simon Farrell, QC that the only reason why Haji Nabil Daraina’s name was keyed into the report was because his name appeared first before Ramzidah’s name in the bank account, to which the witness agreed.

On re-examination by Jonathan Caplan, QC for prosecution, he clarified that the name entered into the report was based on the identification card handed over to him.

Evidence produced by Bank A’s teller also showed that Ramzidah made an application for an overseas remittance in the amounts of GBP100,000 (approximately BND170,000) in December 2016 and GBP150,000 (approximately BND255,000), in December 2017.

The teller processed the transaction, and the amounts were remitted to the defendants’ joint account in a bank in the United Kingdom.

CCTV extracts were played in court. One was a clip between 12.35am to 12.37am on June 9, 2017, showing what the prosecution says is Haji Nabil Daraina depositing money into the cash deposit machine (CDM) of Bank A.

Another clip then showed both defendants depositing cash into two separate CDMs at Bank A on December 8, 2017, between 6.10pm and 6.16pm. The last clip showed the two defendants depositing cash into a CDM at Bank A between 12.50am and 12.56am on December 10, 2017. The prosecution later produced witnesses from several car dealers, when the trial resumed in the afternoon.

A previous sales manager of Car Dealer A gave evidence regarding the sales of four luxury vehicles to the defendants.

Evidence suggests that Haji Nabil Daraina purchased Luxury Car A in April 2014 for BND139,000 which was paid for with cash, cheques and debit card.

Luxury Car B was purchased from Car Dealer A by Ramzidah for BND176,000 in January 2015, which was largely paid in cash, with BND6,000 paid using credit card.

Two months later in March 2015, Haji Nabil Daraina bought Luxury Car C for BND217,800.

The payment was made using credit card for the amount of BND10,000 and the remaining BND207,800 in cash in the following month by Haji Nabil Daraina.

According to Farrell, both defendants were present at the showroom when the cash was being paid. He further argued that it was Ramzidah who handed over the cash.

The witness could not remember who handed over the cash but he recalled that normally it would be Haji Nabil Daraina conducting the dealings of car purchases with him. The last car purchased by Haji Nabil Daraina was a custom order for Luxury Car D. He paid for the car in full by December 2016, with BND128,000 in cash and the remaining BND55,000 by cheque.

A sales executive, currently employed at Car Dealer B, testified in court regarding the purchase of four luxury cars by the defendants.

In October 2012, Ramzidah purchased Luxury Car E for the price of BND265,000. She paid a booking fee of BND35,000 using a cheque, and subsequently in March 2013 paid the remaining BND230,000 in cash.

In June 2017, she purchased Luxury Car F for the amount of BND93,000. She paid for the car in cash, which according to the sales executive, was kept in an envelope. The payment was made in BND500 and BND10,000 notes.

On the other hand, Haji Nabil Daraina purchased Luxury Car G in August 2012, for BND95,000. He paid cash in the amount of BND20,000 and also by cheque in the amount of BND25,000, in May 2014. He paid the balance of BND50,000 by way of hire purchase.

Sometime in October 2014, Haji Nabil Daraina purchased Luxury Car H for BND335,000. He paid BND69,000 by cheque as a booking fee for the car.

A few days later, he paid BND31,000 in cash as part payment of the car. The car only arrived in Brunei after a year, as it was a special edition and had to be pre-ordered. The remaining BND235,000 was paid in cash in October 2015.

During cross-examination, Farrell showed screenshots of WhatsApp messages between the witness from Car Dealer B and Ramzidah. The messages discussed arrangements for surprising Haji Nabil Daraina on his birthday in 2014. The witness also assisted Ramzidah in the purchase of a registration number for Luxury Car I, a new vehicle purchased from Car Dealer C.

The registration number was bought for BND3,500. A photograph showing the witness with Haji Nabil Daraina and two others was also shown, purportedly taken on Haji Nabil Daraina’s birthday, when the car was collected from the showroom.

Justice Gareth John Lugar-Mawson ordered for the trial to continue today, with evidence from the salesman of Car Dealer C.

Caplan and Deputy Public Prosecutors Hajah Suhana binti Haji Sudin, Hajah Suriana binti Haji Radin, Dayangku Didi-Nuraza binti Pengiran Haji Abdul Latiff and Muhammad Qamarul Affyian bin Abdul Rahman appeared for the Public Prosecutor.

Farrell and Sheikh Noordin Sheikh Mohammad represented the defendants.