MACC raids glove maker WRP as part of probe against ex-CEO

The new board of directors at WRP Asia Pacific says it is willing to assist in the investigation against the former management.

PETALING JAYA: Glove maker WRP Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd (WRP) confirmed that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) raided its premises today as part of investigations into alleged misappropriation of funds by a former CEO.

The CEO was removed from his position at the helm of one of the country’s leading rubber glove manufacturers last November after accusations of mismanagement by the company’s board of directors.

Apart from claiming that the CEO had refused to answer to the board and allegedly wanted to wind up the company, the board filed action against him for criminal breach of trust involving RM8.4 million.

In a statement today, WRP’s lawyers said while the raid “is not something that any company wants”, it marked another step forward in its efforts to hold the company’s previous management accountable for their actions.

“It gives us renewed hope that those who (allegedly) jeopardised the company’s finances and credibility for personal gain will be taken to task and be held answerable for all the instability they have caused,” said Thomas Philip Advocates and Solicitors.

“The new board of directors is more than willing to cooperate and be of any assistance in these ongoing investigations.”

WRP’s new board of directors, which gained possession of the company in January, said it had uncovered “substantial issues” with the help of forensic auditors.

Apart from use of the company’s funds, they claimed there were discrepancies relating to regulatory compliance in the employment of workers.

WRP was in the headlines in January 2019 when nearly 2,000 Nepali workers staged a three-day strike after claiming they had not been paid for three months.

A subsequent investigation by the Labour Department found that the company was guilty of withholding workers’ salaries, not paying overtime wages and making unfair pay cuts and that it had wrongful working hours during breaks and public holidays.

In September, WRP’s exports to the United States were banned by US Customs and Border Protection after charges that its gloves were produced with forced labour.

The ban was lifted in March this year amid a surge in demand for medical gloves due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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