KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has acquitted former managing director of Supermax Corp Bhd Datuk Seri Stanley Thai of insider trading in connection with APL Industries Bhd (APLI) shares.
Judicial Commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid made the order of discharge and acquittal after allowing the appeal by Thai, whose real name is Thai Kim Sim, after ruling that the conviction was unsafe.
He also acquitted former remisier Tiong Kiong Choon, who was charged together with Thai.
“After hearing submissions from both parties, the court found that the conviction is not safe.
“Therefore, the conviction and sentence are set aside, ” he said here on Tuesday (Sept 29).
The court also ordered that the fines that were imposed be returned to the accused.
DPP Mohd Hafiz Mohd Yusof, from the Securities Commission, appeared for the prosecution, while lawyers Shamsul Sulaiman and Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden represented Thai and Tiong respectively.
On Nov 24,2017, Thai was sentenced to five years' jail and fined RM5mil for insider trading, while Tiong was jailed five years and fined RM10mil.
They were charged with insider trading in December 2014.
Thai was convicted for communicating non-public information between Oct 25 and 29,2007, to Tiong.
Tiong was convicted on two counts of disposing of a total of 6,208,500 APLI shares while in possession of the same non-public information via accounts belonging to his mother-in-law and his mother.
At the time of the commission of the offence, Tiong was also a licensed intra-day trader with a stockbroking company.
It was the first time the courts had handed down a custodial sentence for insider trading after a trial.
Insider trading offences, under Section 188 of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, carry a mandatory punishment of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and a fine of not less than RM1mil.
APLI, a rubber glovemaker that was delisted from Bursa Malaysia in February 2009, used to be a 14.09% associate of Supermax.
Supermax became its substantial shareholder in February 2005 by acquiring 12.95% equity interest.
Supermax subsequently decided to end its investment in APLI consisting of 49.98 million shares by making a full write-off totalling RM16.69mil.
Thai retired from his post as APLI executive chairman and managing director in December 2008.
According to the Securities Commission, the non-public information communicated from Thai to Tiong related to the audit adjustments proposed by APLI’s auditors, which resulted in APLI reporting a higher loss for the financial year ended June 30,2007, compared to the previously reported unaudited Q4 results for the same financial year, and that APLI would be classified as a PN 17 company.
APLI made announcements to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd about the audit adjustments and its classification as a PN 17 company on Oct 31,2007.
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