Raid on gold trader in Singapore, Malaysia
Bank Negara said the raid was to probe suspected offences under the laws administered by the agencies. -The Star/ANN
PETALING JAYA - The police, Bank Negara, the Companies Commission of Malaysia and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism jointly raided gold trading firm Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd and its affiliates in the country for various suspected offences.
Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department also conducted a similar operation against Genneva Pte Ltd in the republic.
In a statement released yesterday, Bank Negara said the raid was to probe suspected offences under the laws administered by the agencies.
"The public is advised to be cautious in investing money to avoid becoming victims of activities that are illegal and in breach of the law," the statement read.
The website for Genneva Malaysia remained accessible providing visitors with information on the company's background and contact details, among others.
The firm's Singapore portal, however, was not fully accessible.
The website for the Genneva Pte Ltd at http://www.genneva.com.sg/, takes visitors to a single page with the message that reads: "Work in progress, to ensure all obligations to our customers and consultants are met."
The message urged for calm and cooperation during "these trying times as we work out amicable solutions for everyone".
Genneva Singapore's Facebook stated: "Pray for positive outcome while the new management is working round the clock to solve problems."
"We Shall Overcome!," read a message posted on the page yesterday afternoon. (http://www.facebook.com/GennevaWorld.Sg)
Meanwhile, several clients and gold traders of the company cried foul over the raid.
A trader, who only wished to be known as Nick, said money earned from the purchase and sale of gold had helped fund his son through university.
"There has never been any complaint by the clients. The company has helped the livelihood of thousands of people. Why are the authorities interfering in a legitimate business?" he asked.
Another trader, S. Shanti, said the money from her buying and selling of gold, which she stressed was done with the relevant documentation and tax deductions, had helped pay for her mother's dialysis weekly treatment costing RM1,000 over the past three years.
"If they put a stop to this company, how am I going to foot the expensive bill for my mother's health?" she asked outside the company's office in Jalan Kuchai Maju 6.
She was among 100 customers, aged between those in their 20s and 70s, who had gathered at the office in support of Genneva after hearing of the raid yesterday afternoon.
They hoped that the authorities would complete the investigations and leave the company alone after that.
It was learnt that Bank Negara held a briefing with all the other agencies in Putrajaya at 8am before the simultaneous raids were conducted.
Staff at the Jalan Kuchai Lama office had their statements recorded until about 9pm before they were allowed to leave.
Officers at the scene were tight-lipped over the operation. However, they were seen carting away documents and files from the two premises located opposite each other.
As of 9.30pm, Bank Negara officers were still going through the records while customers of the company waited.
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