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‘Allow Bestino to bring in our money’

 | February 3, 2012

Contradictory statements from Bank Negara and the Bestino management have left its embattled investors confused.

KUALA LUMPUR: Embattled Bestino investors want Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to give the company permission to bring in funds from abroad to repay them.

The investors, who formed a Bestino action committee, have sent a letter to the effect to BNM assistant governor Abu Hasan Alshari Yahya.

They are seeking for a meeting between BNM, Bestino management  and investors to resolve the matter.

Speaking on behalf of the investors today, Party Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) national deputy chief, M Saraswathy, said that there were a few contradictions in the statements issued by BNM and Bestino management.

She cited a recent report in which Bestino director Chong Yuk Ming had said that the company was liquidating its assets in foreign countries to pay the investors here and that it was waiting for BNM to give them the green light to bring the money into Malaysia.

Bestino, an Ipoh-based gold investment scheme company, was raided by BNM and the Securities Commission (SC) in June 2010, on suspicion of illegal deposit-taking. Some 6,500 people had invested a total of RM411.19 million in the company.

It is learnt that Bestino owned 36 gold mines abroad including two in Papua New Guinea despite BNM claiming that not a single gold mine exists under the name of Bestino.

Saraswathy claimed that Abu Hasan had told the investors at in a press conference today that Bestino was reluctant to cooperate with BNM and had also failed to produce the details of the company properties to BNM.

But Bestino had in a letter to its investors clearly indicated that the company had suggested that BNM release its properties, which were frozen, to enable them to repay the investors.

Parties must meet

According to Sarawathy, the investors are “still in the dark” over the contradictory statements by both of them.

She added that the best solution for now is for all three parties to meet.

“So, BNM must come out with an immediate action to solve this longstanding matter,” she said.

She also urged BNM to reveal the full details of its investigations into the case.

The amount seized by BNM during the raid was RM20 million when the total money collected was RM411 million.

“So, where is the money?” she asked.

“This is a public interest matter and the 75% of the investors are poor people. We hope BNM will expose the rest of the ‘missing’ amount soon.”

Saraswathy also said that the investors were planning for a massive gathering in front of BNM headquarters, if the institution remains silent on this matter.

Also read:

Gold scam victims want help from Finance Ministry

Macau hand in Ipoh gold scam?


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