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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Up to RM10b tied up in Genneva gold scheme, authorities say


Genneva’s accounts and assets were frozen after it was raided by BNM and other agencies. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― Putrajaya believes investors may have pumped up to RM10 billion into the gold trading scheme under Genneva Malaysia, which was recently raided by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said today.
“The information that I have is that there [are] 35,000 investors that can be detected, but the total investment can reach RM10 billion,” the deputy finance minister told Parliament during Question Time today.
Awang Adek previously told Parliament that Genneva Malaysia’s liabilities exceeded its assets, indicating and that the company was unable to pay returns to its investors.
Genneva’s bank accounts and other assets have been frozen by BNM since October 1, following suspicion that the company allegedly breached several banking and financial laws such as illegal deposit-taking, money laundering, tax evasion and appointing agents without licence, after several people lodged complaints with the police.
Genneva Malaysia has some 60,000 customers and a monthly turnover of RM2 billion, according to its traders interviewed by The Malaysian Insider last week, but the company’s website states 50,000 customers and a turnover of RM3 billion.
Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz has also said the central bank is fast-tracking investigations into the controversial gold trading company so that its customers will not be kept waiting for too long.
Genneva, Pageantry Gold Bhd, Caesar Gold Sdn Bhd, Worldwide Far East Bhd and Bestino Group Bhd are among 25 individuals and companies offering unlicensed activities that were placed on an investor alert list by the central bank last year, double the number from 2010 and the highest on record since 2003.
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