Authorities bust fraudulent investment scheme worth RM400m

PETALING JAYA: Several companies offering investment schemes involving hundreds of millions of ringgit were raided by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) two days ago, Mingguan Malaysia reported.

The operation, coordinated by the National Revenue Recovery Enforcement Team (NRRET) of the Attorney-General's Chamber had frozen several of the company's accounts in Kuala Lumpur and Labuan worth almost RM250 million.

These companies, which were founded by five individuals including several 'Datuk' aged between 32 and 43 years old, are believed to had collected more than RM400 million which was used to fund several online gambling businesses, hotels and casinos.

Quoting a source, the Malay-language daily report stated that the companies had allegedly received its business licences from a neighbouring country.

The authenticity of the licence however could not be verified and the main investigation process by IRB and MACC was more on tax evasion and corruption aspects.

According to the source, the IRB would be looking on issues related to taxation while MACC would go through the list of investors to check whether there were any public and private sector workers involved.

"Several companies involved were newly established and several directors under investigations believed to have extraordinary wealth including luxury cars such as Ferrari, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz.

"The wealth was believed to have been gained from the investment scheme which is possibly non-existent as well as tax evasion," the source said.

"The IRB will also be investigating the agents involved that had also raked millions of ringgit from the commission they received from drawing investment into the scheme," the source added.

The source said all the suspects had been running the activity for a year and received investment of around RM100,000 to RM1 million from each investor deceived by the supposed lucrative returns.

"The investors did not realise that the five suspects did not engage in any investment activity. Instead, they are living luxuriously with the money," the source added.