KUCHING: More than 200 anxious Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd investors gathered outside the compound of Bank Negara Malaysia (BMN) here yesterday morning, calling for the government’s rapid response to resolve the matter.
The investors are not happy because the authorities concerned have taken too long to conduct investigations into the legality of Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s operations.
The company’s bank accounts and other assets have been frozen by BNM since Oct 1 last year, following suspicion that the company allegedly breached several banking and financial laws such as illegal deposit-taking, money laundering and tax evasion and appointing agents without licence, after several people lodged complaints with the police.
According to a spokesperson of the company’s customers in Sarawak, who did not want to be named, he said five months had passed since Genneva was raided but still there were no updates on the matter.
“We want Bank Negara to complete the investigation soonest possible for we don’t want to be kept in the dark. We are extremely worried,” he said at the gathering to hand over a memorandum to the governor of Bank Negara Malaysia.
“We hope the outcome of their investigation could be released without unnecessary delay so that we can take the necessary action to recover our losses,” he said.
“We are calling for intensified and swift efforts in resolving this matter considering the (huge) number of people affected.
“Many of us depended very much on this investment to supplement our income as well as to sustain the family and cover expenses including medical bills, loans and tuition fees of our children’s higher education,” he said.
Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen was present to lead the group in handing over the memorandum to an official of the bank.
Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said that investigations on this matter could be done fast by just going through the transaction records of Genneva’s account.
“The investors want to know whether there are contraventions with the law or otherwise. If there is none, then their accounts should not be frozen.
“Now their money is locked out and they don’t know what will happen to it and what to do next,” he said.
If investigation proved that the operation of Genneva was illegal, Chong said the authority should proceed to take action against those who have committed the crime.
Chong also highlighted the fact that the product, which was advertised as syariah-complaint gold, was launched in Dec 2010 by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The spokesperson also said that there were about 10,000 people statewide affected by the freeze.
The latest update on the matter was three months ago, according to the spokesperson, where Genneva Gold said they would issue a letter to update them on the latest development.
In a statement published by BNM in early December, it said that initial forensic accounting had uncovered considerable losses experienced by the company last year. The company had liabilities exceeding 10 times its assets.
The statement also said that the sale of gold at 20 per cent to 25 per cent higher than the market price, paying returns of 2 per cent to 3 per cent per month to customers and buying back the gold from customers at the initial purchase price was not a sustainable venture.
It also noted that cash flow for the company to sustain its operations had relied heavily on the amount collected from new customers.
Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz has also in December last year assured that the central bank was fast-tracking investigations into the controversial gold trading company so that its customers would not be kept waiting for too long.
Genneva, Pageantry Gold Bhd, Caesar Gold Sdn Bhd, Worldwide Far East Bhd and Bestino Group Bhd were among 25 individuals and companies offering unlicensed activities that were placed on an investor alert list by the central bank in 2011, double the number from 2010 and the highest record since 2003.
SOURCE: Borneo Post
View Comments on GMS FB