‘Top-tier in­vestors in money scams may be charged with abet­ment’

New Straits Times - - News -

Wily in­vestors who jump from one il­le­gal money scheme to another for quick prof­its should be­ware as the cen­tral bank is watch­ing their move­ments closely.

Bank Ne­gara Malaysia Gover­nor Datuk Muham­mad Ibrahim said these in­vestors should face charges as they per­pet­u­ated schemes that were not true.

“These wily peo­ple know the schemes are il­le­gal.

“They are al­ways at the top tier of these schemes, and jump from one to another, ben­e­fit­ing from the prof­its.

“This is highly un­ac­cept­able and to the detri­ment of the pub­lic,” he told a me­dia brief­ing held to an­nounce the first quar­ter gross do­mes­tic prod­uct re­sults yes­ter­day.

Ac­cord­ing to him, there was a pro­viso un­der the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Act, where these in­vestors could be charged for abet­ment of il­le­gal activities.

The fine is up to RM50 mil­lion and 10 years’ im­pris­on­ment, which showed that the law recog­nised the im­por­tance of stern pun­ish­ments, he said.

Muham­mad was re­fer­ring to the re­cent money game scheme in Pe­nang, which was pro­moted through so­cial me­dia. The op­er­a­tor and his team had been re­manded pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Asked about whether fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions could also be held li­able, he said they had been co­op­er­a­tive in curb­ing such activities. Al­ready 238 bank ac­counts had been closed, out of which 108 had fi­nan­cial alerts is­sued against them.

“We have in­formed the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to be stricter and, when nec­es­sary, to close these ac­counts,” he said.

The money would be re­turned to the ac­count holder if there was no court or­der to freeze the as­sets.

Muham­mad ap­pealed to the me­dia to con­tinue dis­sem­i­nat­ing in­for­ma­tion about il­le­gal money schemes and to cre­ate aware­ness among the pub­lic that they would not ben­e­fit from par­tic­i­pat­ing in them.

“Any­one who says you can get 30 per cent of the in­vest­ment per month, or any­thing above three per cent, you have to be care­ful.”

He sug­gested in­vest­ing in unit trusts in­stead, say­ing the re­turns were be­tween five and six per cent annually, and the funds were man­aged by the best port­fo­lio man­agers in the coun­try.

“Any num­bers be­yond this rate can­not be true and we have to be very mind­ful of this gap.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.