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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Report: MBI founder, son had previous conviction for fraud

Island Red Cafe franchise scheme saw Tedy Teow and his son get a one-day jail sentence as well as fine of RM160,000 after both had pleaded guilty in August 2011 trial.
Island-Red-CafeGEORGE TOWN: The founder of MBI International, which is currently facing a probe by Bank Negara, the police, the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry, and other relevant authorities, had previously been convicted for fraud in 2011, The Star reported.

Tedy Teow Wooi Huat, 51, and his son, Chee Chow, 28, were sentenced to one day in jail, as well as a total fine of RM160,000 in August 2011 for “cheating and misleading investors” in the Island Red Cafe franchise scheme, between 2008 and 2010.
At the time, Tedy was the executive director of Syarikat Island Red Cafe Franchise Sdn Bhd, while his son was a director. Both had pleaded guilty to fraudulently inducing 93 people to invest a total of RM1,040,400, the report said.
Last Monday, enforcement officers from various agencies had raided MBI’s M Square logistics centre in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, and M Mall, a shopping complex in Penang, where MBI members are allowed to use loyalty reward points in exchange for goods.
A total of RM177 million in 91 bank accounts were also frozen following the raid, according to domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry enforcement chief Mohd Roslan Mahayudin, who added that the money was in 43 company and 48 individual accounts in eight different banks.
He was reported to have also said that the accounts were frozen under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
MBI International and Mface International, which are subsidiaries of MBI Group, were among the 302 companies listed under Bank Negara Malaysia’s Financial Consumer Alert on May 22.
This list alerts members of the public to companies and websites which are neither authorised nor approved under the relevant laws and regulations administered by the central bank.
MBI International offers a virtual coin financial scheme, where investors pay US$5,000 (RM21,400) for an initial investment.
Bonus points and incentives will be given to members for new recruits.
Members are then allowed to use the virtual coins in exchange for goods and services at affiliated companies, including a supermarket, restaurants, a gym and even a durian stall
Following the raid, the company had reportedly urged its members to keep a low profile and not discuss the probe in public.
According to The Star, MBI’s investment scheme is believed to be the longest-running financial scheme founded in Penang by the senior Teow in 2009, and is said to give substantial returns each year.
The company had previously reported that it had millions of members from a number of countries across Asia, including China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia.
Checks with MBI’s M Mall in Penang on Tuesday revealed that activities were carrying on as usual, despite the raid four days ago.
Teoh Jin Aik, who is the manager of the M Mall complex in Jalan Datuk Keramat in George Towm, said no computers were taken away and their bank accounts remained active and were “not frozen” as reported earlier.
He said it was business as usual for traders operating out of the mall and urged members to stay calm.
“The officers were here for a routine check; nothing to worry about,” he said when contacted. -FMT

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