Foreign businessman acquitted of using counterfeit banknote

Fadley Faisal

The Intermediate Court acquitted an Indonesian man recently of all charges of using a counterfeit BND10,000 banknote.

Judge Muhammed Faisal bin Pehin Dato Haji Kefli found Al Mutasar Amir innocent after considering the evidence provided by lawyer Ahmad Basuni Abas.

The court established that Al Mutasar did not have any reason to believe that the banknote was a counterfeit.

Al Mutasar, the court’s findings stated, is a 49-year-old businessman with a company that saw an annual turnover of USD1.7 million.

At 7.20am on February 6, he left his hometown of Padang in Sumatera on a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the BND10,000 banknote kept in an envelope.

He missed his connecting flight and spent the night in Kuala Lumpur. In the Malaysian city, he tried to exchange the banknote at a money changer but was unsuccessful because they did not have sufficient funds for the exchange.

The following day, at 6.30am, he left Kuala Lumpur for Bandar Seri Begawan. (He was set to depart the Brunei capital at 4.30pm on the same day).

However, on arrival at the Brunei International Airport, he took a taxi that took him to a bank at The Mall Gadong where he presented the banknote to a teller. He was arrested shortly afterwards.

The defence had maintained that Al Mutasar had no idea that the banknote was a counterfeit; he had merely wanted to help a farmer in his hometown to break the BND10,000 banknote.

“The defendant’s testimony and statement have been consistent from the beginning… his defence has assisted in casting doubts in my mind with regards to the prosecution’s case,” said the judge. “I believe that it will be (unwise) to convict, given the set of facts laid before me.”

DPP Muhd Qamarul Affyian bin Abdul Rahman prosecuted the case.