EARLY WARNING: Firms promising unsustainable high monthly returns, say authorities
KUALA LUMPUR: THE recent raids by the authorities on several companies suspected of operating illegal gold investment schemes were prompted by unsustainable high monthly returns and questionable promises.
A joint press release by Bank Negara Malaysia, the police and the Attorney-General's Chambers said the raids were conducted in the best interest of the public to prevent them from falling victim to such schemes and to protect those who had already invested.
"Based on surveillance and checks conducted on these companies and their operations, authorities discovered that the schemes were simply not sustainable to provide the promised high monthly returns.
"Furthermore, the companies were also found to be unable to provide the guarantee buy-back of gold. The scheme was found to be unsustainable as the returns promised were not funded through gold trading but from monies invested into the scheme.
"Investigations also revealed that the assets and funds held by the companies raided did not commensurate with the amount of money collected from various investors," the statement said.
Bank Negara disclosed that prior to the joint raids by various agencies, it had noted that the companies in question had delayed returning gold and money to investors within the stipulated time.
This was always one of the early warning indications prior to the collapse of such schemes which would result in substantial losses suffered by investors.
Earlier yesterday, Umno Youth Public Complaints Bureau chairman Datuk Muhd Khairun Aseh urged Bank Negara to speed up investigations into one of the companies, Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and return the gold bars and dividends to the "innocent" clients.
"Bank Negara should perform some 'housekeeping' on Genneva and return whatever that belongs to the innocent clients of the company," he said, drawing cheers from some 1,500 Genneva clients and consultants who had gathered at his office in Solaris Mont Kiara.
Khairun was referring to the gold bars that were seized during the raid at Genneva's office in Jalan Kuchai Lama, as well as dividends from the purchase of gold.
He said the bureau would be writing to Bank Negara seeking a guarantee that all the assets would be handed to the rightful owners.
"I will see them personally if I have to," he said, adding that his bureau had received more than 10,000 complains from Genneva's clients in the past three days.
Khairun, however, said he was puzzled over Bank Negara's "untimely action when they conducted the raid".
Some of the previous directors were charged in 2009.
"So why didn't the authorities put a stop to all their activities or regulate it properly back then?
"We would have saved a lot of trouble and many people here today would not be suffering.
"Some of them have had to cut back on basic needs like food and medical treatment."