Saturday, December 4

GSB directors freed of money laundering


KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here yesterday acquitted and discharged three directors and a former director of a gold investment company, Genneva Sdn Bhd (GSB), of 224 counts of money laundering and five counts of illegal deposit taking, involving more than RM100 million.

Judge Datuk Rozana Ali Yusuff made the ruling after finding that the defence had succeeded in establishing reasonable doubts against the prosecution’s case.

The directors are Ng Poh Weng, 63, Marcus Yee Yuen Seng, 61, and Chin Wai Leong, 37, while the former director is Liew Chee Wah, 59. In her judgment, Rozana said the company did not carry out activities or transaction which could be categorised as illegal deposit taking.

She said the ‘buy-back guarantee’ (BBG) concept was a mechanism used by the company was not illegal deposit taking and the gold trading it carried out was genuine.

The discount or rebate and BBG, as well as appointment of agents by the company, was a form of promotion and business strategy to attract clients, she added.

She said through the BBG concept, clients were given an option whether to sell back the gold to the company or to other parties, to keep it or to let the company keep it.

This evidence proved that the business activities carried out by GSB met the Bank Negara requirement, she added.

Ng was charged with 93 counts of money-laundering, Yee was charged with 40 counts, and Leong and Liew, 61 and 30 counts respectively.

The offences were allegedly committed at Public Bank Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Branch, Ground Floor, Menara Public Bank, 146, Jalan Ampang here between July 2008 and June 2009.

The four were also charged with accepting deposits from the public, in their capacity as directors, without valid licence, at Jalan Kuchai Maju 6, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama here between November 2008 and July 2009.

Prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutor Mardziatun Nisa Ahamadul Kabir, while lawyers Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla and K Selva Kumaran represented Ng, Marcus and Chin.

Liew was represented by lawyer Keppy Wong. — Bernama