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Businessman bought watch for RM40,000, Guan Eng graft trial hears

KUALA LUMPUR: A businessman involved in the Lim Guan Eng undersea tunnel graft trial purchased a Swiss luxury watch from a broker for RM40,000 several years ago, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court heard on Wednesday (Sept 22).

The court was told that Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli purchased the watch from the broker in 2015 or 2016.

The former watch broker K. Rajan Gunaretnam, 66, said he had bought the Maurice Lacroix watch for RM20,000 from a dealer and sold it to Zarul Ahmad for RM40,000.

He said a mutual friend had introduced Zarul Ahmad to him about 10 years ago.

Asked what he did for a living, Rajan said he looked for watches for his customers, getting them from the suppliers.

Zarul Ahmad, he said, had sought his service to look for a Maurice Lacroix watch.

Questioned about the huge disparity between the buying and selling prices of the watch, Rajan said it was normal for a luxury product.

“The retail price will be RM40,000, and the dealers’ price will be RM20,000. Most of the luxury products have a 35%-50% profit margin,” he said.

He also said he had handed over the receipt for the purchase to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

Replying to defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, Rajan said Zarul Ahmad would purchase watches from him.

“When I got good watches, I’d buy them and call him. He would then tell me to bring the watches over so he could buy them,” said Rajan.

He added that each time, he would bring between three and 10 watches to Zarul Ahmad’s office.

“Sometimes he’d tell that he was buying for his staff and other times, for his own use,” he said.

Asked if the accused had anything to do with the Maurice Lacroix watch, Rajan said no.

“No, I don’t know anything. I have not met him nor had any dealings with him,” he said.

Lim, 60, is facing four corruption charges involving the proposed construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.

For the first amended charge, the Bagan MP, who is also a former finance minister, is charged with using his position as then Penang chief minister to corruptly receive RM3.3mil to help Zarul Ahmad’s company to secure the project in Penang worth RM6,341,383,702.

The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister’s office.

For the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting 10% of profits from Zarul Ahmad to help the company be appointed for the same project.

Lim is charged with committing the offence near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here, in March 2011, between 12.30am and 2am.

The former finance minister was also charged with two counts of causing two lots of land owned by the Penang state government worth RM208.8mil to be disposed of by the developer linked to the undersea tunnel project.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office in Komtar on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.

Reference