A prominent business couple has been accused of cheating more than 200 investors by dropping the names of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor and the Finance Ministry, among others.
MIC treasurer-general S Vell Paari in a press conference today revealed a 32-minute audio recording of a purported conversation between the male partner and representatives of a foreign exchange investment company.
Among the claims by the male partner was that his foundation was linked to the Finance Ministry.
Vell Paari said the couple, who headed a local charity foundation, had teamed up with the foreign exchange investment company, purportedly to obtain a banking licence.
The plan was for the foundation to become the holding company of the business.
But for the foundation to obtain a banking licence, it needed to show a turnover of RM50 million.
For this purpose, the male partner told the foreign exchange investment company to instruct its investors to deposit funds directly into the foundation.
The company had then deposited RM5 million into the foundation in June and an additional RM2.2 million was deposited separately by investors associated with the company.
This was a temporary arrangement to show that the foundation had strong finances and the couple promised to eventually return the entire amount of RM7.2 million.
However, last month, they only returned RM5 million to the company with the balance of RM2.2 million yet to be paid to the respective investors.
As an MIC leader, Vell Paari said it was his duty to clear the names of the prime minister and his wife as the accused couple had used the BN chairperson’s name to their advantage.
Vell Paari also claimed that he was threatened by the couple when he insisted that they return the remaining RM2.2 million.
“Indians were tricked, Indians with poor income. I don’t have any issue with them (the couple) but after I found this out, I just can’t let this go on unattended,” said Vell Paari.
The MIC leader said he had received a legal notice from the couple who told him to be careful in the things he said at today’s press conference or risked getting sued.
Former MIC treasurer-general R Ramanan, who was also at the press conference, said apart from Vell Paari, he and his special officer had also received the legal notice.
“I want to give one warning – don’t try to threaten anyone here.
“My challenge to the lawyer is for them to sue me. Vell Paari and I will go to court and prove our case,” said Ramanan.
He also announced that today was the first of a series of press conferences on the matter.
Further exposes will be made on the couple who purportedly lead a luxurious lifestyle of expensive cars and single number car plates.
Meanwhile, lawyer L Prakash will be representing the investors who will initiate legal action against the couple.
Ramanan said he and Vell Paari will bear all the legal fees involved.
Investors who had been victimised included cancer patients, students and pensioners.
An investor who was allegedly scammed said he had had invested RM4,000 and received a return of RM6,000.
Benedict Chris, 23, was promised that the sum he invested would double in four months.
The student said his single mother who became convinced upon seeing the initial returns invested RM12,000 but had yet to receive anything back in return.
Although he had received some returns from his investment, Benedict said he had come today as apart from his mother, many of his friends who had used their National Higher Education Fund Corporation loans to invest in the scheme had also been affected.
S Suyampraghsam, 61, had invested RM280,000 of his pension and EPF funds into the foundation.
Having received back over RM100,000 from the scheme, the pensioner however said that the last payment he received was in June.
“As long as I get my capital back, it’s enough,” he said.
Malaysiakini has contacted the couple for their response on the matter. Malaysiakini is withholding their names pending their response to the allegations.- Mkini