Gold investment probe: Many paid but did not get their gold

(The Star) – Seized records have revealed that many investors who had paid had yet to receive any delivery of gold, prior to the joint raids by Bank Negara, the police, the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism and the Companies Commission of Malaysia on four companies suspected of conducting illegal investment schemes using gold.

In a joint statement giving an update on their ongoing probe, they said that, in some cases, the investors had been waiting for more than five months after making payment.

“The total amount of gold seized during the raids from all the companies is approximately 142.7 kilogram, and monies in bank accounts and cash amounts to RM101.92mil,” the statement said.

Investigations also revealed that these companies kept poor records with some of them maintaining different versions of financial records for different purposes.

“These companies have also failed to submit audited accounts with the Companies Commission of Malaysia for the last few years, as required by law.

“For businesses, especially those that involve large numbers of clients and monies, it is imperative to maintain accurate records of all business transactions to avoid financial mismanagement or misrepresentation of the true financial situation of the company,” the statement said.

“The enforcement agencies are aware of the plight facing affected investors and every effort is being made to determine the whereabouts of any monies and assets of the companies.

“A dedicated team has been established to track the movement of monies and other assets. International accounting firms have also been appointed on a full time basis to assist in the investigations.

“The scope of the investigation is international.

“In this connection, the enforcement agencies are actively collaborating with their foreign counterparts to obtain evidence in several other jurisdictions to assist in the investigations,” the statement said.

On Oct 5, gold trading firms Pageantry Gold Bhd, Caesar Gold Sdn Bhd and Worldwide Far East Bhd were jointly raided for suspected offences that include illegal deposit-taking, money-laundering, tax evasion and avoidance and false description.

Three days earlier, Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd had been raided.