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