Genneva gold investors can now make claims after court ruling, says lawyer

Genneva, which has been wound up, was fined RM2 million for receiving deposits from the public without a licence.(File pic)

PETALING JAYA: Investors who bought gold from a company may be entitled to make claims following a final ruling by a court on money laundering and illegal deposit taking, lawyer Fahmi Abdul Moin said.

However, he said the investors must show proof that they are genuine third parties since Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)  seized the movable and immovable properties of Genneva Sdn Bhd for unlawful commercial activities.

“The investors may be entitled to make claims provided they satisfy five criteria under  Section 61 of the anti-money laundering law,” he told FMT.

Fahmi said this in response to the Court of Appeal which last week dismissed an application to set aside the conviction and sentence of four former Genneva directors for money laundering and illegal deposit-taking involving more than RM100 million.

Ng Poh Weng, 68, Marcus Yee Yuen Seng, 66, Chin Wai Leong, 42, and Liew Chee Wah, 64, were each jailed eight years and fined RM2 million.

Genneva, which has been wound up, was also fined RM2 million for receiving deposits from the public without a licence.

The offences were committed in 2008.

Fahmi, who is a former deputy public prosecutor with BNM, said the central bank will gazette Genneva’s assets and inform any person who has legitimate interests in the property to come to the Sessions Court.

“Keep a look-out in the government gazette.

“If there is no claim, all properties will be forfeited by the government under Section 55 of the anti-money laundering law,” he added.

Fahmi said several thousand investors are said to have purchased gold bars or gold wafers from Genneva, which was actively involved in buying and selling the precious metal.

In one of the schemes, purchasers bought the gold but allowed the company to keep them.

“In return, the depositors were paid an attractive monthly interest of between 8% and 10% of the price of gold they had bought,” Fahmi said.

However, the company’s business activities came to a halt after BNM raided and seized all properties for violating the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989.