Supreme Court upholds acquittal of Gammon India promoter Abhijit Rajan in insider trading case

The acquittal of the promoter of Gammon India, Abhijit Rajan on insider trading charges have been upheld by the Supreme Court after the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) challenged his acquittal by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in 2019.

The Court has dismissed Sebi's appeal on two grounds – (i) that the information based on which Rajan traded actually resulted in a gain in share price when stock exchanges were intimated about it and that his act of selling shares in advance would not meet the criteria of profit motive essential to establish an insider trading charge and (ii) that the proceeds from the sale of shares were used to meet funding requirements for debt restricting of the company.

This decision is likely to have implications on current insider trading cases within the regulatory system, and also on the manner and extent to which Sebi is likely to initiate actions for insider trading. [19 Sep 2022]

Indian citizen pleads guilty in first-ever cryptocurrency insider trading case in US

An Indian citizen, Nikhil Wahi has pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets by using confidential Coinbase information about which crypto assets were scheduled to be listed on Coinbase's exchanges. This is the first time a defendant has admitted his guilt in an insider trading case in the US involving the cryptocurrency markets and Wahi faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. [14 Sep 2022]

NSE phone tapping: Chitra Ramkrishna denied bail in ML case

A bail application of former managing director and chief executive officer of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Chitra Ramkrishna, has been dismissed by the Delhi court. Ramkrishna was detained for a money laundering case relating to the alleged illegal phone tapping of NSE employees. The judge rejected bail on grounds that the accused had infringed the privacy and confidentiality of NSE employees and committed a criminal breach of trust in respect of NSE's fund and property over which she had dominion. [29 Aug 2022]

ED files money laundering case against Manish Sisodia under PMLA

A money laundering case has been filed against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia and others by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), to probe the alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise policy. [24 Aug 2022]

Mumbai: CBI makes junior office staff witness to secure arrest of boss in bribery case

An assistant director of the Employees State Insurance Corporation, Amitava Dutta, has been arrested by the CBI for accepting Rs 2 lakh (≈US$2,431) bribe from a private security firm. This comes after a confessional statement before a Magistrate by his office-boy, a key-witness in the case, that he had collected money on behalf of Dutta. [23 Aug 2022]


Policeman guilty of bribery gets 4 years jail, RM35,000 fine

A policeman, Corporal Donni has been sentenced to four years in jail and fined RM35,000 (≈US$7,471) under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (the MACCA) for two counts of bribery after he was found guilty of asking for and accepting bribes from a woman as an inducement not to take action against a man who had in his possession protected animals without a permit. The offence is punishable under Section 24 of the MACCA and carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe received or RM10,000 (≈US$2,135), whichever is higher, upon conviction. He was ordered to serve the jail sentence concurrently from the date of his conviction but obtained a stay pending an appeal to the High Court. [29 Sep 2022]

Rosmah guilty of corruption rules High Court

High Court judge Zaini Mazlan has ruled that Rosmah Mansor is guilty of all three counts of corruption in connection with a RM1.25 billion (≈US$27 million) Sarawak rural schools' solar energy project. The prosecution charged Rosmah under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACCA for soliciting RM187.5 million (≈US$40 million) from former Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd's managing director through her former aide as an inducement to help the company secure the solar project, and receiving bribes of RM5 million (≈US$1.05 million) and an additional RM1.5 million (≈US$317,796) on 20 December 2016 and 7 September 2017 respectively. She faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine. [1 Sep 2022]

Tech CEO among eight held in bribery investigation

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested a chief executive officer of an information technology company and eight individuals for allegedly accepting bribes for assisting employers or agents to obtain quotas for foreign workers. It was found that the payment was between RM800 (≈US$171) and RM1,500 (≈US$320) per quota. The individuals were brought before Magistrate Irza Zulakha Rohanuddin where a three-day remand order was granted following MACC's application at the Putrajaya Magistrate's Court. Investigation is still ongoing and the case is being investigated under Section 16(a) of the MACCA. [4 Aug 2022]


Thumb drive inventor and Trek 2000 founder Henn Tan jailed for accounting fraud

Henn Tann, the inventor of the thumb drive and former Chief Executive of Trek 2000 International has been sentenced to one year and four months' imprisonment for committing accounting fraud. Tann pleaded guilty to five charges of engaging in conspiracies to falsify accounts, forge documents and cheat external auditors. Between 2006 and 2011, Tann had conspired with then chief financial officer Gurcharan Singh to falsify Trek 2000's financial statements pertaining to a US$3.2 miilion sale in 2015. Upon discovering the false and misleading statements, their auditors conducted further investigation before reporting the matter to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. [11 Oct 2022]

Ex-director of marine company charged with alleged offences involving marine gasoil worth US$56 million

Pai Kheng Peng, a former managing director of Sentek Marine and Trading, has been charged with corruption offences involving gasoil valued at about US$56 million. Between August 2014 and January 2018, the company had allegedly acquired about 118,131 metric tonnes of marine gasoil which had been dishonestly misappropriated from Shell Eastern Petroleum's facility at Pulau Bukom. He faces 42 charges of consenting to Sentek’s acquisition of property representing another person’s benefit from criminal conduct and faces a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to S$500,000 (≈US$34,776), or both for each offence. He also faces an additional charge of abetting the obstruction of the course of justice for allegedly instigating Pai Kheng Hian to instruct a witness to give false information to investigators. This charge carries a potential sentence of up to seven years' imprisonment, a fine, or both. [4 Aug 2022]


Supreme Court judge arrested over bribery scandal

A Supreme Court judge, Sudrajad Dimyati, has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a bribery scandal after he voluntarily reported himself to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Six other suspects who are believed to be involved in facilitating 2.2 billion Rp (≈US$143,196) in bribes to secure a favourable ruling in an appeal by a lending cooperative facing insolvency earlier this year have also been detained by the KPK following raids in Jakarta and Semarang in which nearly US$148,000 in cash seized from the home of a Supreme Court official. [25 Sep 2022]

Indonesian palm oil billionaire goes on trial

Surya Darmadi, the owner of PT Darmex Agro Group has been charged with bribing government officials to make it easier to permit the expansion of the company's oil palm plantations. The allegations involve bribing the former Regent of Indragiri Hulu, Thamsir Rachman and paying former Riau Governor, Annas Maamum Rp 3 billion (≈US$0.2 million). He was also charged with money laundering from the proceeds of corruption in his palm oil business of around Rp 7.7 trillion (≈US$0.5 billion) to purchase land and buildings, stocks, ships and transferred funds to his various subsidiaries. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and the possibility of recovering state financial loss of Rp 4.7 trillion (≈US$0.3 billion) and US$7.8 million, and state economic loss of Rp 73.9 trillion (≈US$4.8 billion). [9 Sep 2022]


Thai Police arrest Myanmar Junta Chief’s associate in drug raid

Tun Min Latt, a Myanmar businessman who had interests in mining and tourism has been arrested with three other people in Bangkok for drug-related offences and money laundering. According to reports by Reuters, Tun is a close associate of Junta leader, Min Aung Hlaing. As neighbouring countries who share a strong business and military link, the arrest is an awkward development between Thailand and Myanmar. Upakit Pachariyangkun, the son-in-law of a Thai senator, was also arrested in the same raid for conspiracy to sell narcotics. The police have also apprehended three Thai nationals and a 53-year-old man from Myanmar, seizing more than 200 million baht (≈US$5.35 million) in assets in the process. [23 Sep 2022]

Former real estate executive sentenced to 20 years in bank loan scandal

Former top executive of Krisda Mahanakorn real estate company, Wichai Krisdathanon, his son Ratchada and four other people have been sentenced to 20 years in prison after they were found guilty of money laundering in connection with the 9.9 billion baht (≈US$260 million) loan from the state-owned Krungthai Bank. The six defendants were initially found guilty of multiple counts of money laundering and were each sentenced to prison terms ranging from 118 to 860 years. Under Thai law, a combined prison term cannot exceed 20 years, and so all sentences were commuted to the legal maximum. The court has also ordered all defendants to compensate Krungthai Bank to an amount of around 8.8 billion baht (≈US$230 million) within 30 days. [19 Aug 2022]


22 people, including a deputy minister, arrested over Covid-19 reparation flight scandal

Nguyen Hong Na from the Consulate General of Vietnam in Osaka, Japan and former official, Le Ngoc Anh who served at the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia, are the latest two diplomats to be arrested for accepting bribes in Vietnam's Covid-19 reparation flight scandal. Hoang Anh Kiem, a freelancer, was also detained for allegedly giving bribes. After eight months of investigation, 22 people have been arrested, including Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung. In late September 2022, the assistant to Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister, Nguyen Qung Linh was arrested for allegedly taking bribes and faces criminal charges over the scandal, as well as being expelled from the Vietnamese Communist Party. [5 Oct 2022]

Vietnam approves national action plan on AM

LLe Minh Khai, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister has signed a decision on the National Plan of Action on prevention and control of ML, TF and PF for the 2021-2025 period. The overall aim of the plan is to build an effective mechanism against ML, TF and PF, for the sake of peace, stability, development and integration, thus improving Vietnam's prestige and position in the international community and fulfilling the country's obligations as a member of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering. [20 Aug 2022]


Aung San Suu Kyi faces total of 26 years in prison after latest corruption sentencing

Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to a further three years in jail after she was found guilty of corruption and now faces a total of 26 years in prison. The case concerned allegations that Aung had accepted bribes from a businessman. After the military seized power in February 2021, Aung has faced a number of legal cases, from incitement and multiple corruption charges to illegal possession of walkie-talkies and breaking Covid restrictions. Her legal team has rejected the cases and rights groups and observers have described them as an attempt to remove her from politics. As the media is unable to access the courts and lawyers are not allowed to speak to journalists, information about the court proceedings is limited. Aung has been held in detention and is currently being kept in solitary confinement in Naypyidaw. [12 Oct 2022]