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Wednesday May 12, 2010

Companies Commission forms special taskforce to fight crime

Cabinet-directed move to build investor confidence

KUALA LUMPUR: The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) has established a special taskforce that would collaborate with other government agencies to help fight against white collar crimes and build greater investor confidence, among locals and foreigners.

Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the two objectives were a directive from the Cabinet.

The special taskforce and working committee was established on March 9.

Ismail Sabri said: “I will be personally helming the taskforce,” he told reporters at the Business Ethics Dialogue yesterday.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at the Business Ethics Dialogue Session on Tuesday.

He said the special taskforce and a working committee would be working closely with regulators including, Bank Negara, the Securities Commission, Bursa Malaysia and Bukit Aman police to look at companies (listed and unlisted) with “questionable” operations against the laws.

Ismail Sabri said SSM will be having regular meetings with the various regulators to look at individual corporate cases and their business ethics to decide collectively if any fraud or misconduct had occurred.

SSM chief executive officer Datuk Azmi Ariffin, who helms the working committee, said the new platform (special taskforce and a working committee) would enable decision making on corporate misconduct to be faster and brought to court to be charged, if required.

On the time frame, Azmi said it depended on individual cases but generally would be decided within three to six months.

On current cases, he said there were four cases under investigation and two have been brought to the court since the team was established.

One of the companies charged by the court was Red Cafe Franchise Sdn Bhd for fraudulently inducing people to invest RM1,040,400 in a programme called the “Island Red Cafe,” while the other company charged was for deposit taking in a swiftlet business scheme.

Another SSM director said several other cases, currently being investigated in Kedah and Penang involve tontine schemes that have collected in total RM33mil from 100,000 individuals.

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