BUKIT MERTAJAM (Penang) • Malaysian police have raided the Penang offices of two controversial money trading firms, carting off documents and questioning company staff.
Eight offices of JJPTR (JJ Poor-to-Rich) in various locations in Penang state were raided last Thursday and Friday.
On Saturday, police swooped in on the office of another firm, Change Your Life, in Bukit Mertajam in mainland Penang.
During the raids, officers carted away documents, including banking slips, agreement forms and membership cards.
Police detained 19 JJPTR employees for questioning last Thursday, but have since released them.
Apart from the police's Anti- Money-Laundering Squad, officers from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID), the central bank and the Companies Commission of Malaysia were involved.
Media reports said the companies had collected millions of dollars from the public, promising the investors good returns by using the funds to trade in the foreign exchange markets.
JJPTR was paying out 20 per cent in monthly returns until it claimed recently that it lost US$400 million (S$562 million) after its accounts were hacked.
The central bank, Bank Negara, recently outlined the full gamut of laws that could be used against those behind what it calls dodgy financing or investment schemes.
These included the Penal Code, the Interest Schemes Act, the Direct Sales and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.
Bank Negara said it took a serious view of illegal financial schemes and action could also be taken against investors who knowingly promote and participate in such schemes.
A man in his 50s, who was at a JJPTR office on Saturday, said: "My children invested about RM10,000 (S$3,200) in the scheme. I don't think they will be getting back their money now".
He left immediately after he was told by reporters that the office had been raided by the police.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK