Malaysia Based Trader Charged With Terror Funding In Singapore
Mohamed Kazali Salleh was arrested by Bukit Aman’s Special Branch in December 2018 before being deported to Singapore. (PDRM pic)PETALING JAYA: A Singaporean businessman who used to be based in Malaysia has been charged by a district court in the city-state today with funding terrorist attacks in Syria.
Singapore’s The Straits Times reported that Mohamed Kazali Salleh, 50, kept a deadpan expression as the three charges of terrorism financing were read out to him in Malay.
The court was told that Kazali, who was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA), intends to plead guilty and hire his own lawyer.
Court documents stated that Kazali transferred funds to a Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin on three different occasions between December 2013 and early 2014, with the intention of facilitating terrorist attacks in Syria.
He was accused of transferring US$351.75 and RM500 through Western Union in Singapore and in Malaysia and also handing over RM1,000 to Aquil at a Johor Bahru bus terminal on another occasion.
He was arrested by the Malaysian Special Branch in December 2018 before being deported to Singapore and detained under ISA in January 2019 for supporting ISIS.
“He was a close associate of Syria-based ISIS militant Malaysian Wan Mohd Aquil bin Wan Zainal Abidin, also known as Akel Zainal, believed to be the most senior ISIS fighter in Syria prior to his reported death in March 2019,” said Singapore’s home ministry.
Akel was a former band member of local rock band Ukays who joined the IS militant group in Syria before being killed in an airstrike in March 2019.
Kazali was not granted bail after the prosecution said it would be “prejudicial to the security of Singapore”, while “special arrangements” had been made to remand him. His case will continue to be heard on Aug 11.
He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to S$500,000, or both under Singapore’s Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, which was introduced in 2002.
Singapore’s home ministry said Kazali would be imprisoned separately if he was sentenced to prison while undergoing rehabilitation to curb him from spreading his ideology to other prisoners.
Once he completes his sentence, he will then be assessed to see if he had been successfully rehabilitated or remained a threat to the community.
“If he remains a threat, he may be detained further under the ISA,” said the ministry. - FMT
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