According to Reuters, a Malaysian manager of Norway’s largest oil services provider Aker Solutions has Friday morning been formally charged after a court hearing in Malaysia. 49-year-old Ahmad Hatta Kamaruzzaman is charged over allegations he submitted false documents in dealings with state-owned energy firm Petronas (PETR.UL)
Norwegian media E24 writes in a recently published article that Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency has previously investigated Aker Solutions and after Friday’s court hearing, the oil service provider confirmed the charges to E24 but the company did not want to comment further beyond a statement the company sent out on Thursday night.
According to Reuters, the manager is accused of submitting documents in August 2018 intended to mislead a Petronas subsidiary that Aker Engineering Malaysia, a Malaysian unit of the Norwegian group, would qualify as a Bumiputera-owned firm when it did not. The accusations are confirmed via a charge-sheet seen by Reuters and confirmed by prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.
Ahmad Hatta Kamaruzzaman pleaded not guilty at the hearing and his lawyer Devanandan S. Subramaniam said to E24, “All the documents are in order, and the person in question has not deceived anyone. Devanandan S. Subramaniam added that they can not say anything more about the case until they receive more documents from the prosecution.
According to Reuters Ahman Hatta Kamaruzzaman was granted bail immediately and the case is set to resume on 30 July.
E24 writes that Malaysia has a quota system, where a large part of contracts from state-affiliated companies are reserved for ethnic Malays and indigenous peoples. It is this type of contract, a so-called “Bumiputera”, that is the core of the case. Aker Solutions has stated that the company “does not expect this process to have any significant impact on our operations in Malaysia”.
Aker Solutions has been present in Malaysia for 30 years and the country is the company’s base for the Asian market. Aker Solutions has six companies in Malaysia, of which the group has at least 90 percent ownership in all except one company called Aker Solutions APAC, where they own 48 percent.