Another money agent stops trading

GEORGE TOWN: Yet another Penang-based money game operator appears to be in trouble as its office has been left unmanned and trading suspended the last two weeks.

A housewife who wanted to be known only as Chin, 54, said her up-line told her on Thursday that the company stopped all business dealings 14 days ago.

“I’m left in the lurch as I just invested US$5,000 (RM22,000) last month and I didn’t even have a chance to use my points to trade yet,” she said yesterday.

Chin is hoping the company will not turn into another JJ Poor To Rich (JJPTR) or MBI International.

Early this year, it was reported that JJPTR lost US$400mil (RM1.7bil) to a purported computer hacking job. Its founder Johnson Lee and two of his aides were arrested by police on May 16 and released on police bail on May 23.

The company has since shut down its website and its office in Penang.

Since then, several companies allegedly operating money games and pyramid schemes have found themselves in Bank Negara’s financial consumer alert list.

The Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry also sprang into action and froze several bank accounts belonging to MBI International.

A 50-year-old suspect, believed to be the founder of the group, was also remanded under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

The company that Chin invested in is listed on the Securities Commission Malaysia’s website as an unauthorised company. It does not have approval to trade in futures contracts, financial planning or services related to securities or futures.

“When I attended a briefing on their products earlier, I was so impressed with their green concept.

“This is a painful experience for me,” Chin said.

The company’s website had claimed to have an afforestation operation along with a series of related activities.

It also claimed to provide solutions, marketing plans and investment schemes.

The office was locked despite a sign stating that it was open on Saturday.

Attempts to contact the person in charge were unsuccessful as the phone calls went unanswered.

No investors or employees were around in the office but there were many banners and streamers nearby to inform investors of the points system issued by the company.

The points purportedly could be use to redeem gift cards at a popular furniture outlet, with exchange rate of RM50 for 16 points and up to RM1,000 for 316 points.

When contacted, Penang Com-mercial Crime Investigation Depart-ment chief Asst Comm Abdul Ghani Ahmad said they have not received any report against the company.

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