They con­sist of for­mer min­is­ter, civil­ians and BNM, min­istry staff

New Straits Times - - FRONT PAGE - NU­RUL HIDAYAH BAHAUDIN news@nst.com.my

ATOTAL of 27 in­di­vid­u­als have been sum­moned to pro­vide their state­ments on the RM31.5 bil­lion losses in­curred by Bank Ne­gara Malaysia (BNM) in its for­eign ex­change (forex) losses be­tween 1992 and 1994.

Fed­eral Com­mer­cial Crime de­part­ment di­rec­tor Datuk Seri Amar Singh said po­lice would call up more in­di­vid­u­als to have their state­ments recorded to as­sist in their in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the case.

“Out of the 27 peo­ple, 19 are BNM staff, five are from the Fi­nance Min­istry, while three are civil­ians, in­clud­ing a for­mer min­is­ter. We will sum­mon even more wit­nesses to pro­vide their state­ments to as­sist the probe,” he said in Bukit Aman yes­ter­day.

Amar said po­lice were fo­cus­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tions on four main thrusts, in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that sev­eral el­e­ments were used to “hide” the ac­tual losses suf­fered by BNM dur­ing the pe­riod.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of mis­lead­ing state­ments pre­sented to the cabi­net, Par­lia­ment and the pub­lic on the ac­tual scale of the losses, done with the aim of ex­ert­ing in­flu­ence to com­pel the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion’s an­nual ac­count to be gazetted by Par­lia­ment.

“We are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether those with in­ter­ests in the mat­ter are mask­ing the scale of the losses,” he said.

“We are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the trans­fer of own­er­ship and sale of Te­naga Na­sional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Air­lines Sys­tem Bhd and Malaysian In­ter­na­tional Ship­ping Cor­po­ra­tion shares were done dis­creetly to BNM in 1993 to ab­sorb some of the losses in­curred over the forex losses, with the aim of hid­ing the losses and bal­anc­ing the num­bers.”

He said the in­ves­ti­ga­tions were on­go­ing, with rel­e­vant par­ties ex­pected to be sum­moned to com­plete the probe soon.

On July 15, the Yang di-Per­tuan Agong had con­sented to the es­tab­lish­ment of a Royal Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (RCI) to probe into the losses in­curred by BNM in the forex mar­ket in the 1990s.

RCI con­vened for 10 days from Aug 21. Fol­low­ing the In­quiry, the com­mis­sion’s sec­re­tary, Datuk Dr Yu­sof Ismail lodged a re­port af­ter find­ing el­e­ments of crim­i­nal breach of trust, fraud and other of­fences pos­si­bly com­mit­ted by those in­volved in the trad­ing.

Po­lice launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by set­ting up a team to probe into the case in ac­cor­dance with Sec­tion 409, 417 and 418 of the Pe­nal Code.

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