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Spanco Chairman Faces Charges Of Cheating RM4Bil Govt Contract

KUALA LUMPUR: Spanco Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon pleaded not guilty to the charges of deceiving the government into granting his company a contract valued at more than RM3.9 billion.

Spanco Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon was charged with cheating the government to award his company a contract worth over RM3.9 billion.

He was allegedly charged with persuading the finance ministry that Spanco had a Bumiputera shareholding of at least 30 per cent.

The charge was read before Judge Suzana Hussin at the Sessions Court here.

The alleged offence occurred at the finance ministry’s office in Putrajaya from February 27 to February 29, 2019.

Tan has been formally charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which carries penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment, whipping and fines if found guilty.

Judge Suzana set bail at RM2 million after the accused’s lawyer, Datuk Wan Azmir Wan Majid, did not raise objections to the amount proposed by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat.

This decision considered the gravity of the alleged crime and the value of the offence in question.

The court also ruled that Tan’s international and diplomatic passports be confiscated until the trial concludes.

Tan and his team were also instructed not to discuss the trial with any prosecution witnesses.

Furthermore, the court also ordered the tycoon to appear at the nearest Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office every two months.

The accused is implicated in influencing the Ministry of Finance to secure a contract to procure and manage the government’s vehicles.

The tender, titled ‘Request for proposal, is for the supply, repair, maintenance, and management of the government of Malaysia vehicle fleet’, was allegedly awarded under dishonest circumstances.

The investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), led by Tan Sri Azam Baki, focuses on the contract concerning the supply and management of the vehicle fleet.

Initially awarded to Berjaya Group and Naza Corporation Holdings Sdn Bhd in 2019, the contract was terminated and subsequently reassigned to Spanco during the previous government’s tenure.

According to news reports, Spanco has been managing the government’s fleet since 1993, a tenure of 25 years.

Despite being 83 years old, Tan continues to actively participate in Spanco’s operations, as noted by lawyer Razlan Hadri Zulkifli, who was observing the proceedings on behalf of Spanco.

As reported by The Edge, Tan currently holds a 24.65 per cent stake in Spanco while Datuk Seri Tan Han Chuan hold  14.67 per cent, Datin Tan Ching Ching holds 9.68 per cent, and Minhat Mion a 5 per cent stake.

The largest shareholder in Spanco is identified as Jati Rata Sdn Bhd, holding a significant 46 per cent stake in the company.

In January, the MACC raided Tan’s residence as part of their ongoing investigation.

While Datuk Wan Azmir Wan Majid represented the accused during the recent proceedings, it’s worth noting that Tan’s primary legal counsel is Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

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