Datuk Seri held over Ponzi scam

KUALA LUMPUR: Another get-rich-quick scheme syndicate, led by a man with a Datuk Seri title and caused losses of about RM40 million to hundreds of investors, was crippled by police on Tuesday.

Police arrested three people, including the Datuk Seri, in Maran, Pahang and Kota Baru.

The scheme known as MGCfx which was run by MGC Capital Sn Bhd had offered its investors 10% returns weekly for their investments for over a period of four years through foreign exchange trading.

However, after it began its operations in June 2014, it went bust in August the following year when it failed to make payments to its investors.

Federal police Commercial Crimes Investigations Department (CCID) director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said today that since Feb last year, police had received 114 reports from investors involving losses close to RM40 million.

He said the victims had registered as investors through the company's website and deposited their investments into its bank account.

Acryl Sani said the suspects are in police custody under a remand order for investigations over the scam.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar in a Twitter message congratulated the CCID over the bust and the arrest of the three individuals.

Checks on websites linked to the company showed that the scheme had accepted investments as low as RM350 and lured investors with an offer of making their money grow four-folds or RM1,440 in just a year.

The scammers also claimed that the scheme was halal or legitimate for Muslims and encouraged them to introduce it to their families and friends.

Even Bangladeshi and Indonesian workers here were invited to invest in the scheme.

There were about two dozen Facebook accounts under MGCFx promoting the scheme here, Indonesia and the Phillippines.

Online checks also showed the operators had claimed that the scheme was under the patronage of a registered foundation that promotes economic wellbeing and social excellence for Malaysians.

More than a hundred of such schemes have emerged in the country in the past decade leaving thousands of unsuspecting investors in the lurch after declaring bust.

Billions of ringgit were lost to the schemes which are akin to the infamous Ponzi or pyramid scheme.