Published: Friday January 11, 2013 MYT 8:41:00 PM
Not all registered bidders present on the date of the auction, court hears
By TERENCE TOH
SEREMBAN: The investigating officer for a case involving an alleged fraudulent auction of a property in Bahau testified in the High Court here that not all registered bidders had been present on the date of the auction.
Insp Johari Mohammad Ali said his investigations revealed that despite there being 22 bidders registered on a list for the auction, several names had been repeated, and many had not been present there.
“Also, one of the IC numbers on the list was registered as belonging to a Chinese woman. My investigation, however, showed the number actually belonged to a Chinese woman,” Insp Johari said, testifying before High Court judge Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof.
Under cross-examination however, it was put to him that the last digit of the IC number he had checked was unclear, and he had not checked any other possible numbers that it could have been.
Insp Johari said he had recorded statements from the legal officer, acting as the bailiff in the auction, that some of the bidders could have sent representatives on their behalf for the auction.
However, he said investigations had shown these representatives had not been present.
Technical coordinator A. N Sreenathan and his three brothers A. N. Raman Nair, A. N. Kunjuni Nair and A. N. Gomida@Govinda Nair are bringing an action against Hong Leong Bank Berhad (formerly EON Bank Bhd) for alleged fraudulent conduct during the auction of their property in Bahau, which was put up as security for a third party loan to the bank in 2002.
They are also bringing an action against trader Yong Chuu Yong, believed to be the highest bidder for the property.
The plaintiffs want the court order, for the property to be sold through public auction on July 31, 2008, be set aside due to irregularities, including that the reserve price of RM780,000 that had been based on a flawed valuation.
Yong was called to the stand to give testimony on behalf of the defendants. He denied committing any fraud, saying he had been a genuine buyer interested in the property as it was close to his residence.
“The other bidders had not wanted to purchase the land as there was said to be a caveat on it. The reserve price was not fixed by me, and I did not commit any sort of manipulation,” Yong said in his witness statement.
He also denied having dinner with a lawyer from EON Bank at a Chinese restaurant on the night of the auction, as was claimed by the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs were represented by counsels G. Nandagoban, M. Komalam and Wahida Bakhtiar, while the defendants were represented by Ravi Nekoo and Krishna Dallumah.
Cases were closed on Friday, with Feb 1 fixed for first submissions, and a decision scheduled for Feb 27.