MBI founder charged with financial crimes, faces RM5m fine

KUALA LUMPUR: The founder of MBI International claimed trial at the sessions court to two charges of issuing unrecognised payment instruments by Bank Negara Malaysia six years ago.

Teow Wooi Huat, 52, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read out in front of sessions Judge Azrul Darus.

He is the founder of MBI International which is currently facing a probe by BNM, the police, and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

According to the first and second charge, the accused, as the one responsible for the management of the affairs for MBI Marketing and Mface International was charged with issuing a payment instrument in the form of online funds without approval under Section 25(1) of the Payment System Act 2003.

Both the offences were done in a premise in Ampang Avenue between June 3, 2012 until March 17 this year.

For both the charges under Section 25(1) of the Payment System Act 2003, he faces a maximum fine of RM5 million or a maximum five-year jail term or both if found guilty.

BNM Prosecuting Officer Hardeep Kaur proposed bail of RM150,000 for each charge.

However defence counsel M. Mahendra asked for a lower bail as his client has to support his family.

"At the same time, his company account has been frozen so I would like to appeal for a lower bail," he told the court.

The court allowed bail at RM30,000 for each charge and for Teow's passport to be impounded.

The case will be mentioned on July 11.

It was learned that the issuing of payment instruments under the Payment Systems Act 2003 must be approved by BNM.

On 2011, Teow was jailed for a day and fined RM90,000 by the sessions court after pleading guilty to two charges of cheating 93 investors in an investment programme called Island Red Cafe.