Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cops go after Hindraf donors,

If you have made a donation to the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) movement, the police may be knocking on your door soon.

The Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) has sent letters to individuals summoning them to give statements at the Bukit Aman police headquarters over a possible offence of funding a terrorist organisation.

The letter stated that the police are investigating this offence under Section 130N of the Penal Code - the funding of terrorist activities.

If found guilty, the person can be punished with death (if the terrorist act results in death), imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years but not exceeding 30 years and a fine.

“The police believe that you can provide a statement about funds given to Hindraf Enterprise,” read the letter signed by investigating officer ASP Rozeni Ismail.

A donor who received the letter and was quizzed by the police recently said references were made to a RHB bank account registered under the name ‘Hindraf Enterprise’.

The donor, who requested anonymity, said the police recorded statement in relation to some other offence - non-terrorism related - committed by the company.

“It is odd that the matter is being dealt by the Commercial Crimes Department because during questioning, they made no reference to the terrorist offences. They said the company could be charged for impropriety in soliciting donations and funds.

“It is also very alarming that the banks can give information about their clients and their transactions to the police without the need for a court order.”

Under the Section 16A of the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 1958, banks are permitted to convey any information in relation to any offences to the police or affected financial institutions.

Many being summoned

However, the donor pointed out that the recording of the statement took only 30 minutes and the police were pleasant throughout the period.

“I don’t think I am the only one. When I asked if there were others, the officer said there were many other people being summoned,” the donor added.

Hindraf gained fame when it organised a protest that saw 30,000 people hit the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 last year.

This was followed by the movement’s leaders and supporters being charged for a slew of offences including sedition, causing mischief and attending an illegal assembly.

On Dec 8, 2007, the Companies Commission of Malaysia revoked the registration of Hindraf Enterprise for using the company for unlawful purposes and purposes prejudicial to national security and public order.

The company at that time had set up a bank account for the public to donate money to the cause and for those incarcerated in need of bail money.

At the height of enforcement action, enigmatic Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar with R Kenghadharan, M Manoharan, V Ganabathirau and T Vasanthakumar were arrested under the Internal Security Act on Dec 13 last year.

They have been detained for two years without trial.

CCID director ACP Mohd Kamarudin Md Din was unavailable to comment on this investigation when contacted.

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