The Helpdesk Crew has consulted our lawyer and the lawyer has advised the following:
1. Since the BNM raid on 1 October 2012 (before the charge), any attempt to recover the seized assets would have been futile as the case was still under investigation. Now that GMSB and its directors have been formally charged in court, all monies and gold seized are the subject matter of the case and as such will be used as exhibits during trial.
2. As exhibits, the AG has an absolute say in its custody. No one can apply to the AG (because now it is under the purview of the AG’s department and no longer that of BNM) to get the monies and gold released until the proceedings of the hearing/trial is fully exhausted, including the prospect of any appeals to higher courts.
3. Sections 55, 56 and 61 of AMLA (the provisions dealing with forfeiture of seized properties) are no longer applicable to our situation because there are already multiple charges levelled against the company and its directors and the trial dates have been duly fixed. If the company and its directors are found to be guilty, all the seized properties are liable to be forfeited pursuant to S. 55 of the act. See also the recent Court of Appeal case involving FX Capital Consultant (M) Sdn Bhd & Raja Noor Asma Raja Harun (The Malaysian Insider dated 4th October 2013).
4. Should anyone decide to proceed with winding up petition against the company or for that matter if the company is wound up, we may file our proof of debt staking a claim for our gold and monies as “unsecured creditors”. But by doing this, we are merely staking a claim against the company and such action does not in any way guarantee that we will get our gold or monies back. The downside of doing this is of course the risk of losing more money (paying for legal fees to lawyers to file such claims) but getting nothing back in return.
5. It is worthwhile for us to engage our lawyer to hold a watching brief (i.e. a lawyer representing all 2000 of us as customers) over the whole conduct of the case. This lawyer will sit in during trial as solicitor acting on our behalf and his role is to have our interests protected at all times and also to know as well as to keep us informed of what is going on.
6. We will only have a chance of claiming our monies and gold back as unsecured creditors if the accused persons are acquitted at the end of the trial process (barring the contingency of any appeal to higher court). However, as mentioned above, if the accused party or parties are found guilty, the gold and monies will be deemed to be part and parcel of illegally obtained assets and consequently will be forfeited by the government to go into “the treasury’s coffers”. See the above mentioned court of appeal case.
Heeding the lawyer’s advice, the JR team is agreeable to proceed to act accordingly.
Helpdesk Crew, Kuala Lumpur