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Small-time operators are said to be still in the game

GEORGE TOWN: There are still money games doing fairly well with a sizeable number of players, though it’s a hush-hush affair.

An insider known only as Leo said there are more than 10 “small-time” operators still active in Penang, with investors steadily getting monthly returns of between 20% and 40%.

“The steady payouts are signs that the platforms remain stable,” he said.

He added that the schemes are known to those in the “inner circles” and the number of investors is smaller compared to games like JJPTR, a forex trading company.

Leo refused to divulge the names of the companies running these smaller games.

He admitted having just put RM400 into one, a worldwide trading business.

“I’ll be getting a 20% fortnightly return,” said Lee yesterday.

“Although I am not sure about the com­pany’s operations, the amount is small and it’s worth the gamble.”

Following the reported collapse of JJPTR, several money game operators in Penang are also said to be falling apart, with members failing to get their promised payouts on time.

Another investor, Kenny Tan, in his 30s, said a majority of the players did not lodge reports with the authorities as they knew they were into schemes that were too good to be true.

“They fear that once the authorities step in, the accounts of these companies will be frozen.

“They prefer to liaise directly with the operator in the hope of recovering their principal, at least,” he said.

Regular money game player Chris Chong said many have actually profited.

He said some of his friends are always on the lookout for new platforms, knowing they could find easy money if they are among the pioneers.

“These people won’t top up or recruit family members and friends to be their downlines.

“Even if the schemes go bust, they won’t raise a big hoo-ha.

“They know very well the risk. As long as they can earn a few thousand ringgit, they will keep quiet and look for other schemes.

“It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said.

Another player, C.K. Tan, 32, said many from the middle and low-income groups hoped to earn extra income through money games.

“With the inflation rate, the escalating house prices and the cost of living, many people are having a tough time,” said Tan when interviewed.

“They want passive income to stay afloat and money games offer ‘hope’.”

Tan said it was easy to convince them to invest, especially if it is involved with forex trading.

“This term and nature of business may be alien to them but they will simply believe you.

“They listen to hearsay and join the trend without getting proper information,” he said.