Perpetrators and promoters of get-rich-quick schemes will face full brunt of law

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara has warned those behind illegal financial schemes that they will face the full brunt of the law, adding that action can also be taken against the investors.

Perpetrators and promoters of such schemes, it said, faced action under various laws, including those administered by the central bank, the Penal Code, the Interest Schemes Act 2016, the Direct Sales and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act 1993 as well as the Anti-Money Laun­dering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

“Bank Negara views illegal financial schemes very seriously and will not hesitate to enforce the law against the perpetrators and promoters of such schemes.

“Under the law, action can also be taken against investors who knowingly promote and participate in the illegal schemes,” it said in a statement here yesterday.

Bank Negara was responding to reports that a few “money game” operators, most notably Penang-based JJPTR, Change Your Life (CYL), Richway Global Venture and BTC I-system, have either gone bust or are falling apart.

A joint enforcement action on financial fraud and scams, it said, would be carried out by an inter-agency initiative, led by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The inter-agency initiative is under the National Coordination Committee to Counter Money Laundering, com­prising Bank Negara, the A-G’s Chambers, the police, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consume­rism Ministry, the Companies Com­mission, the Securities Commission and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Bank Negara also cautioned the public against taking part in schemes promising unrealistically high re­turns, interest rates or profits, urging them to refer to the Financial Consumer Alert for the list of companies that the central bank had neither authorised nor approved.

Financial institutions and money services business providers, said Bank Negara, had also been directed to heighten their vigilance in detecting the accounts used by the perpetrators and identifying sus­picious transactions and fund flow.

On Wednesday, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consume­rism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin confirmed that investigation into JJPTR and individuals involved were ongoing.

JJPTR came under the spotlight when investors complained they did not get their scheduled payment last month.

The firm’s founder Johnson Lee said his company lost RM500mil, claiming that its accounts were hacked.

Despite that, Lee came up with a new scheme which offered a higher return of 35% a few days ago.