Up to 7 years in jail, RM100,000 fine for account mules under proposed law amendments | New Straits Times

Up to 7 years in jail, RM100,000 fine for account mules under proposed law amendments | New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: The government today approved amendments to the law aimed at combating online financial fraud crimes, including the alarming issue of account mules in the country.

The Penal Code Amendment Bill 2024 and the Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Bill 2024 will be presented for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

The amendments to the Criminal Code introduce several new articles aimed at providing for offences and penalties relating to payment instruments or accounts in financial institutions.

Under Section 424a, provisions are made for offences and penalties relating to the possession or control of any payment instrument of another person or another person’s account in a financial institution without lawful authority or without a legitimate purpose.

Section 424b deals with providing possession or control of a payment instrument or an account at a financial institution to any other person without lawful authority or legitimate purpose.

Under this section, whoever, directly or indirectly, without lawful authority or legitimate purpose, gives possession or control of his payment instrument or account in a financial institution to any other person, may be fined between RM10,000 and RM100,000 or imprisoned for a term of between one and seven years, or both.

Section 424c(1) concerns a person involved in a transaction using their payment instrument or account at a financial institution without a legitimate purpose.

Section 424c(2) concerns a person engaging in a transaction using another person’s payment instrument or account at a financial institution without lawful authority or without a legitimate purpose.

In addition, Section 424d seeks to provide definitions for “financial institution” and “payment instrument” in the context of proposed new Sections 424a, 424b and 424c.

Azalina had earlier said the amendments were made because existing laws do not provide any offence for bank account holders who allow their accounts to be used by others for illegal purposes and obstruct the police in intercepting the movement of victims’ funds into mule accounts.