First online scam case

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 26 Sep 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: A couple was slapped with six charges of illegal deposit-taking involving two Internet-based companies. 

This is the country’s first online illegal deposit-taking case involving 18 local depositors and RM650,000, investigated by Bank Negara. 

British national Bryan John Marsden, 59, pleaded not guilty to four charges while his Malaysian wife Phan Sew Ken, 52, claimed trial to two such charges yesterday. 

The couple, directors of the New Mark Business Centres Sdn Bhd and PicPay Dot Com Sdn Bhd, were alleged to have accepted deposits from the depositors without a valid licence under Section 6(4) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 to carry out banking business. 

Marsden claimed trial to two charges of accepting money from depositors, in his capacity as director of the companies at Bandar Baru Nilai in Seremban between April 10, 2004 and July 4, 2005.  

Phan, a former teacher, was alleged to have committed the offences at the same place and period.  

If convicted, each can be fined up to RM10mil or sentenced up to 10 years’ jail or both under Section 103(1)(a) of the same Act. 

Prosecuting officer Fahmi Ab.Moin, from Bank Negara, applied for a joint-trial.  

Fahmi also offered bail at RM500,000 for each accused in two Malaysian sureties and asked the court to impound their international passports. 

Pleading for lower bail, counsel J. Kuldeep Kumar said Marsden, a former project manager for KLIA and KLCC, and his wife had co-operated with Bank Negara throughout the investigations. 

He said Marsden had been charged at Seremban Sessions Court for 50 counts under the Anti-Money Laundering Act while his wife faced 48 similar charges but could not pay higher bail imposed by the court and had to spend a year under remand. 

On Aug 30, last year, the couple was charged at a Seremban Sessions Court with 41 counts of money laundering involving more than RM26mil. Marsden was also slapped with an additional seven charges involving RM7.5mil at a court here.  

Judge Rozana Ali Yusoff set bail at RM400,000 in one Malaysian surety for Marsden and RM300,000 in one Malaysian surety for Phan. The couple failed to post bail. 

The judge impounded their passports and set three days from May 6 next year for trial.  

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