PETALING JAYA - Reports have emerged that a couple allegedly responsible for a pyramid scheme that swindled over 400,000 people in China of 30bil yuan (RM19 billion or S$6.1 billion) have fled to Malaysia.
Quoting various media reports in China, Nanyang Siang Pau said the couple - a 26-year-old Chinese national and her Malaysian husband - started a foreign currency investment scheme in Shenzhen promising high returns early this year.
With the slogan "earn USD without lifting a finger", their company, IGOFX, attracted over 400,000 members within a few months.
However, by early June, the company was said to have collapsed. The woman, allegedly the mastermind of the scheme, had been unreachable on both WeChat and her handphone since June 11.
On June 30, nearly 100 investors gathered at the Shenzhen police station to appeal to the Chinese government to help them recover their investments.
China Press reported that investors had also lodged police reports against the company in the cities of Nanjing and Changzhou in Jiangsu province, Shijiazhuang in Hebei province as well as cities in Zhejiang and Hubei provinces.
It added that a photo of an investor cutting his or her wrist was also posted in their WeChat groups.
The daily claimed that IGOFX, said to be registered in Vanuatu, had feigned credibility and legitimacy by sponsoring both sports activities and car races.
On Wednesday, the China Embassy in Malaysia issued a statement reminding investors in Malaysia and China to choose proper, legal and mature investment channels.
"Chinese citizens should take sound measures to protect their own interest to maintain the healthy development of the regular investment relationship between the two countries," it said.
It also advised Chinese nationals to retain all evidence and resolve the issue through legal channels should they discover that they have been deceived.
When contacted, Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said Malaysian police had yet to receive any information about IGOFX.
"But we are ready to collaborate with our Chinese counterparts within the legal framework," he said.