Malaysian court dismisses case against accused Aker Solutions director

A Malaysian court has cleared the Director of Norway’s Anker Solution branch in Malaysia of accusations that he submitted false documents in dealings with state-owned energy company Petronas, the Norwegian engineering company said on 6 December. 

E24 writes that shortly after the accusation in June, Director Ahmad Hatta Kamaruzzaman, had pleaded not guilty and denied criminal guilt, the director’s lawyer Devanandan S. Subramaniam informed at the time.

On November 25, the court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed the case. This means that new evidence is needed to get the case back in court.

“Neither he nor the company received the necessary details about the charge,” Torbjørn S. Andersen, press officer at Aker Solutions, says to E24.

“The court found that the charge was vague, misleading, and did not state the specific relationship. It thus did not comply with the provisions of the Penal Code. The court further found that the charge was unfounded and fundamentally deficient, “Andersen writes in an email to E24.

Torbjørn S. Andersen can not answer what he was charged with. “You must next ask the Malaysian police about that,” he says. He says that the accusation has had a very limited impact on Aker Solutions’ operations in Malaysia. The director has been at work throughout the process.

The case of Aker Solutions started last December when it was revealed that the Malaysian authorities were investigating The Aker company’s operation in the country.

Anonymous sources revealed to Reuters that the Malaysian anti-corruption bureau was investigating whether Aker Solutions had provided false information about the ownership of its different Malaysian enterprises to win contracts from state oil and gas company Petronas. According to Reuters, Malaysia has a quota system, in which a great deal of contracts with state-owned companies is reserved for ethnic Malayan people or the “original people”. It was this quota system that Aker Solutions was allegedly trying to bypass by providing false information in an attempt to win contracts from Petronas.

Aker Solution has denied all claims of false information from the beginning. 

“Our colleague Hatta Kamaruzzaman and Aker Solutions have objected to the charge from the start, and we are pleased to see that the court has concluded the same way,” the company says.

Malaysia is Aker Solutions’ base for the Asian market. The company has been present in the country for 30 years and the company has assisted with various types of deliveries to both the Norwegian continental shelf, Asia, and other international contracts. The company has both shipyards and engineering departments in the country, and together with Norway and Brazil, it is the place where subsea equipment is produced in the group. 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.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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