Iris hit with RM169.5mil suit linked to Guinea e-passport contract

  • Corporate News
  • Thursday, 23 Mar 2017

Smart chip in this sample e-passport is being shown. Iris has a 15-year contract from Guinea to provide secure chip technology solutions.

KUALA LUMPUR: Iris Corp Bhd, whose e-passport deal in Guinea has come under the scrutiny of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, is now being sued for RM169.48mil over alleged commission payable on the passport contract’s value.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the e-passport and smart card provider said Roxwell Group Sdn Bhd had filed a suit at the KL High Court against Iris and four individuals, including group managing director/CEO Datuk Tan Say Jim and deputy managing director Datuk Hamdan Mohd Hassan (both men are on leave of absence).

Roxwell is claiming for the alleged commission payment, as well as interest deemed appropriate by the court, under a cooperation agreement between it and Iris dated Jan 17, 2011.

The sum of RM169.48mil was calculated based on the formula of 15% on the reported value of the build-own-transfer passport contract awarded by the Guinea government to Iris in October 2013.

The 15-year contract, valued at US$249.75mil (RM1.11bil), is for the supply and implementation of secure chip technology solutions. This includes the electronic passports, visa, permanent residence identification cards and its related software and hardware.

Iris said among the chief terms of the cooperation agreement was for Roxwell to identify for it potential projects in Guinea and Guinea Bissau, West Africa, over a three-year period from the date of the agreement.

“In consideration of any and all services in respect of the agreement involving the sale of plant, equipment, machinery or asset arranged by the plaintiff (Roxwell), Iris agreed to pay the plaintiff a commission of 15% on the value or price of the plant, equipment, machinery or asset sold,” it continued.

However, Iris said, the e-passport project did not involve the sale of plant and equipment and no deposit was received from Guinea.

There was also no commission payment agreed between Iris and Roxwell as to the securement of the project, it said.

“Iris denies it has breached the agreement and wishes to reiterate that the plaintiff had never in any way facilitated to secure any contract whatsoever in favour of Iris within the two years from the execution of the agreement. By virtue of clause 7.1 of the agreement, the same in effect became redundant and was never pursued,” the company said.

According to Iris, Roxwell via its lawyers served it a letter of demand in relation to the alleged commission payable on July 21, 2014, which was categorically denied and refuted by Iris’ lawyers.

Iris said it would apply to strike out the suit and claim for abuse of process.

The case management of the suit is fixed on April 11.

“There is no material impact to the Iris group arising from this suit and as advised, Iris reserves all rights to claim against the plaintiff and/or its solicitors for damages arising from this suit,” Iris said.
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