4,763 Bruneians allegedly swindled out of B$91.5M
Bandar Seri Begawan - Several victims of an alleged money investment scam are seeking assistance from the relevant authorities in Brunei and Malaysia to find a way of getting their money back as well as thousands of others whose investments run into a whopping B$91.5 million.
Four of the alleged victims who approached the Borneo Bulletin yesterday made an appeal saying that they wish to seek help from authorities with the hope of getting their money back.
The alleged victims of Pan Phoenix Dina (B) Sdn Bhd, a money investment company which collapsed amidst receiving investors after being found to have operated without a licence, made a trip to Kuala Lumpur for more than a week to seek assistance from the Malaysian government to get their money back, which had been allegedly misappropriated by the company.
Nine of the alleged victims, who represented the total number of 4,763 Bruneians, spent nine days in Kuala Lumpur to express their woes to the Brunei High Commissioner in Malaysia and Bank Negara, which had reportedly frozen the funds of Pan Phoenix Dina, the Kelab Taqwa Malaysia (KTM), as well as other smaller companies run by KTM.
The group of alleged victims from Brunei, who are endeavouring to get their money back as well as that of other Bruneians, also expressed their despair to the Berita Harian, a Malaysian newspaper, which 'reported that Brunei citizens have been allegedly swindled of their money to the tune of $91.5 million.
According to the lead news in the newspaper, the nine representatives from Brunei made the trip to Kuala Lumpur in an attempt to resolve the problem.
It was alleged that among the investment schemes offered was Al Iwa 2 with a minimum deposit of $500 bound by a two-year contract with promised returns of 24 per cent interest monthly, while the highest investment scheme allegedly offered was Al Ghani with a starting of $200,000 deposit in a two-year contract with promised returns of 30 per cent interest monthly.
Directors of Pan Phoenix Sdn Bhd, M Bakri Kamaruddin and Zainal Md Yusof have been produced befOre the Sessions Court in Kota Bharu on charges of alleged money laundering involving RM33 million. The penalty carries an imprisonment term of five years or a fine up to RM5 million or both for each count.
Meanwhile, Pan Phoenix Dina (B) Sdn Bhd along with its three directors have pleaded not guilty to 25 charges under the Banking Orders in the Brunei High Court.
The company and its directors, Hasri bin Mohd Noor, Md Azlan bin Hj Md Yussof and Haji Abdul Hamid bin Haji Simpol have claimed trial to all the charges against them.
Under the Brunei Law, those found guilty will be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10 million, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both and in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding $100,000 for every day during which the offence continues after conviction under the Banking Order, 2006.
Under the Banking Laws of Brunei Darussalam, any person who receives, takes or accepts deposits except those licensed under section 4(1) of the Banking Order, 2006 to conduct banking business, constitutes an offence under section 93(1) of the Banking Order, 2006.
The case will be heard again in the Brunei High Court on July 19, 2010.-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin