Probe VenusFX into

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHARLES RAMENDRAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Po­lice have be­gun in­ves­ti­ga­tions i nto for­eign cur­rency trad­ing com­pany VenusFX and com­pa­nies linked to it over al­leged il­le­gal de­posit- tak­ing amount­ing to tens of mil­lions of ring­git since last year.

It is learnt that sev­eral dozen po­lice reports have been lodged na­tion­wide against the com­pany by hun­dreds of in­vestors who claimed to have lost be­tween RM1,000 and sev­eral mil­lion ring­git af­ter be­ing promised high re­turns of up to 30% a month.

Kuala Lumpur po­lice com­mer­cial crimes in­ves­ti­ga­tions depart­ment (CCID) chief ACP Mohd Luthfi Is­mail Ab­dul­lah con­firmed city po­lice had re­ceived reports from in­vestors.

“We have be­gun in­ves­ti­ga­tions for cheat­ing un­der Sec­tion 420 of the Pe­nal Code. In­ves­ti­ga­tions are in progress,” he said, de­clin­ing to com­ment fur­ther.

It is learnt that po­lice are in the midst of com­pil­ing dozens of reports made against VenusFX na­tion­wide and are ex­pected to hold dis­cus­sions with the fed­eral CCID and Bank Ne­gara soon be­fore a full-scale in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sources said ini­tial find­ings showed the busi­ness mo­d­ule of the com­pany was sim­i­lar to the pyra­mid sys­tem as­so­ci­ated with Ponzi schemes.

Checks by t heSun f ound VenusFX was a com­pany reg­is­tered in New Zealand with a vir­tual ad­dress.

Apart from Malaysians, it is also be­lieved to have in­vestors from other coun­tries.

Although there were no clear

in­di­ca­tions of its man­age­ment struc­ture, it is said to be led by two busi­ness­men, both Malaysians in their late 20s. Since its in­cep­tion a year ago, the com­pany had al­legedly been op­er­at­ing its busi­ness il­le­gally with­out a bank­ing and fi­nan­cial ser­vices li­cence from Bank Ne­gara.

How­ever, in June this year, a com­pany called the Malaysia Ven­tures En­tre­pre­neur Foun­da­tion (MVEF), run by a Datuk Seri and his wife who is also a Datuk, made a propo­si­tion to the own­ers of VenusFX of­fer­ing to le­galise their op­er­a­tions by ob­tain­ing a bank­ing li­cence through their “con­nec­tions” in the gov­ern­ment.

On Satur­day MIC trea­surer-gen­eral Datuk S. Vell Paari held a press con­fer­ence in Pe­tal­ing Jaya with more than 100 of those af­fected.

He al­leged the MVEF cou­ple had been name-drop­ping and claimed that they were close to top gov­ern­ment lead­ers and of­fi­cials in “high places”, in­clud­ing those at the Fi­nance Min­istry (MoF).

“The cou­ple met the direc­tors of VenusFX and told them to de­posit RM50 mil­lion into the ac­count of their foun­da­tion as it was to show MoF the com­pany’s turnover in or­der to be granted a bank­ing li­cence.

“In a sub­se­quent meet­ing, the Datuk Seri told the direc­tors that (prime min­is­ter) Na­jib and Ros­mah (his wife) had ap­proved the scheme.

“VenusFX de­posited RM5 mil­lion into the Datuk Seri’s foun­da­tion be­fore di­rect­ing its in­vestors to de­posit their in­vest­ments with MVEF, where another RM2.2 mil­lion was paid.

“The Datuk Seri was aware of VenusFX be­ing a com­pany op­er­at­ing il­le­gally but he con­tin­ued to of­fer to le­galise it,” Vell Paari said.

He al­leged that even­tu­ally, VenusFX learnt it had been duped by the Datuk Seri and ceased all deal­ings with him.

VenusFX de­manded the sum of RM7.2 mil­lion be re­turned and fol­low­ing a le­gal de­mand is­sued by its lawyers, it man­aged to re­cover RM5 mil­lion from the Datuk Seri.

How­ever, Vell Paari said the Datuk Seri has yet to re­turn RM2.2 mil­lion be­long­ing to be­tween 200 and 300 in­vestors.

“There are about 16,000 in­vestors of this scheme who are mostly In­di­ans.

“I have ad­vised the Datuk Seri to re­turn the money but this was met with threats from him.

“I wish to state that I do not fear his threats and will con­tinue pur­su­ing this mat­ter un­til it is re­solved,” he told re­porters.

In re­sponse to Vell Paari’s al­le­ga­tions, MVEF of­fi­cials Datuk Seri G. Gna­naraja and his wife, Datuk G. Geethan­jali in a state­ment de­nied swin­dling the af­fected in­vestors, call­ing the al­le­ga­tions defam­a­tory.

They said the sum of RM2.2 mil­lion was de­posited into the bank ac­count of MVEF with­out the foun­da­tion’s knowl­edge.

As such, they said the foun­da­tion had de­cided to hold on to the funds to en­sure it is re­turned to the right­ful de­pos­i­tors.

Gna­naraja and Geethan­jali said they had sought a list of the af­fected in­vestors from VenusFX but there had been no re­sponse from it.

Geethan­jali and her hus­band Gna­naraja deny al­le­ga­tions of cheat­ing.

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