Zahid, wife spent RM1.3M including for shopping abroad

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi paid almost RM1.3 million for his four credit cards between January 2014 and January 2016, including on high-end shopping in the United Arab Emirates, United States and Italy, mentioned in a hearing at the Malaysian High Court yesterday.

This was disclosed by senior vice-president of Ambank Berhad (Ambank) in charge of management of credit card authorisation and fraud control, Yeoh Eng Leong, 58. He said the total payment of RM1,296,715.98 was recorded by four credit cards, AmIslamic Bank VISA Infinite (VISA 0344 Zahid Hamidi), AmIslamic Bank World Mastercard (Mastercard 1095 Zahid Hamidi), AmIslamic Bank VISA Infinite (VISA 0419 Hamidah Khamis) and AmIslamic Bank World MasterCard (Mastercard 1137 Hamidah Khamis).

The 10th prosecution witness said the former deputy prime minister owned two principal cards while his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis held two supplementary cards. “All four cards have a combined credit limit of RM250,000,” he said in his witness statement which he read during the examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor, Lee Keng Fatt on the fifth day of the trial of Ahmad Zahid, who faces 47 charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds totalling millions of ringgit.

Yeoh also testified that apart from the three countries, Ahmad Zahid and Hamidah had also used the cards in Kuala Lumpur, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Ukraine, Australia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia and China.

According to the witness, who referred to a credit card statement dated April 28, 2014, the VISA 0419 owned by Hamidah was used in several retail transactions in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia amounting to RM130,359.83.

Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the High Court. PHOTO: BERNAMA

This included RM26,893.33 spent at Burberry Asia Ltd in Kowloon, Hong Kong; RM9,500 spent at Louis Vuitton at Starhill, Kuala Lumpur; RM7,919.35 at Swarovski in Melbourne, Australia; and RM18,568.66 at Louis Vuitton in Southbank, Australia. The same card racked up RM215,542.69 for purchases in New York, as billed in a credit card statement dated June 28, 2015.

This included RM130,313.20 spent at Stefano Ricci America, RM17,252.34 at Burberry 400 and RM45,095.60 at Brioni.

The banker said based on the payment records for January 2014 to January 2016, the principal cardholder, Ahmad Zahid had made 37 payments in total.

“Out of the 37 payments, two cheques were returned. As I have mentioned earlier, payments were made with local cheques.

“The total amount of payment received from January to December 2014 was RM534,412.52, January to December 2015 was RM708,134.47 and in January 2016 was RM54,168.99,” he said.

To an additional question from Deputy Public Prosecutor, Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran on who usually made the payment for the supplementary cards, Yeoh replied, “The principal credit card holder, Ahmad Zahid.”

Ahmad Zahid, 66, had pleaded not guilty to a total of 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust, eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.