27 SUMMONED OVER BNM FOREX LOSSES
They consist of former minister, civilians and BNM, ministry staff
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.