BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The public prosecutor has brought five additional charges of money laundering against two former judges accused of embezzling more than $7 million from the High Court’s Bankruptcy Office.
Married couple Ramzidah Pehin Datu Kesuma Diraja Col (rtd) Hj Abdul Rahman and Hj Nabil Daraina Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Badaruddin are already facing 152 charges relating to criminal breach of trust, money laundering and corruption.
The duo were both senior officials in Brunei’s judiciary until January 2018, when they were suspended from duty.
Appearing before the Intermediate Court on Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutors Suriana Radin and Qhairul Azim Nayan applied for the case to be heard before the High Court on Tuesday, given the gravity of the charges.
The defendants have yet to enter a plea.
Ramzidah was a senior registrar and the deputy official receiver of the Bankruptcy Office at the time the offences occurred. She faces 146 charges of criminal breach of trust by a public servant for allegedly embezzling over $7 million from 41 debtor accounts between 2004 and 2017.
Her husband, Hj Nabil, was a senior magistrate at the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrates Court, and previously served as a deputy public prosecutor.
Both husband and wife are jointly facing nine charges of money laundering and two charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act for possessing assets not corresponding to their income as public servants. Among the assets seized is a long list of luxury vehicles worth $3.2 million.
The scandal — which has been the subject of rampant rumour-mongering online — is set to become one of the most high-profile corruption cases in the country’s history.