Thursday November 1, 2012
Bank Negara: RM10bil invested in Genneva
By RAHIMY RAHIM
KUALA LUMPUR: Investigations by Bank Negara into the controversial Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd gold investment scheme showed that some 35,000 people were affected, involving RM10bil worth of investments.
“Based on our information, 35,000 investors were found to have invested a total of RM10bil. We also found that there was a huge gap between the value of the deposits and the assets of the company,” said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein in reply to a question by Datuk Ibrahim Ali (IND-Pasir Mas) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Ibrahim had asked if the Government intended to intervene and help the investors. Awang Adek said Bank Negara had initially allowed Genneva to operate because it claimed to be a gold trading company.
“It is important that we do not rush in our investigation and freeze their business immediately as some people have wrongly blamed us,” he said.
Earlier this month, Bank Negara together with the police, the Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry and the Companies Commission of Malaysia raided Genneva's offices for suspected illegal deposit-taking and money laundering.
Awang Adek said among the steps taken by the Finance Ministry to curb illegal deposit-taking and get-rich-quick scams were constant monitoring and investigating tip-offs.
“We will also conduct raids from time to time against companies that are found to have contravened the law and charge them in court,” he said.
The ministry, he added, would also continue to enforce the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act by freezing and seizing all assets owned by such companies.
“The ministry will also cooperate with relevant enforcement agencies in a bid to strengthen our monitoring activities,” said Awang Adek.
In PUTRAJAYA, disgruntled Bestino gold scheme investors who camped overnight outside the Prime Minister's Office complex here returned home after being promised a meeting.
A special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak met representatives of the Bestino Investors Action Committee for about half an hour yesterday after the group of over 100 people refused to budge from the entrance to the complex.