GEORGE TOWN, June 20 ― The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry enforcement unit announced today the arrest of the MBI Group founder in a sting yesterday.
The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) enforcement unit director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin said the man, in his 50s, is under remand for four days until June 22.
The man was arrested during a raid of one of three MBI Group premises at 6.30am yesterday.
"He was arrested at the second premise we raided, at Taman MBI Desaku in Kulim, Kedah," he told a press conference at the Bank Negara office here in Penang.
The operation, dubbed as Ops Token II, is a joint operation between the KPDNKK, the National Revenue Recovery Enforcement Team of the Attorney-General's Chambers, Bank Negara Malaysia and police.
"During the operations, we seized RM280,000 cash from the first premise in Butterworth in Penang,"
"We seized another RM187,612 in the second premise in Taman MBI Desaku in Kulim, Kedah and also RM218,000 worth of foreign currencies consisting of Singapore dollars, US dollars, Thai Baht, Australian dollars, Yuan, New Zealand dollars, Indonesian rupiah, Korean won, Japanese Yen, Hong Kong dollars, Taiwan dollars, Laos Lam and Cambodia Riel," he said.
In the second premise, three luxury cars; a Jaguar worth RM350,000, a Range Rover worth RM900,000 and a Vellfire worth RM300,000, were also seized.
"Nothing was seized from the third premise raided, also in Taman MBI Desaku in Kulim," he said.
Four bank accounts, with RM30 million, belonging to the suspect's relative under the Mface Club scheme were also frozen during this operation.
Mohd Roslan said as at today, a total 98 local bank accounts with a total RM209 million have been frozen.
"Out of the 98 accounts, 49 are individual accounts while 49 are company accounts," he said.
The individual accounts belonged to different individuals, including the founder, and all the account owners will be called in for questioning, he added.
"These individuals are believed to be involved in the illegal money scheme," he said.
The whole operations were conducted under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 which carries a jail sentence of not more than 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the total illegal proceeds or RM5 million, whichever is higher.
"This operation is a follow up from our first operations on May 29 under Ops Token I on Mface Club in Lembah Klang and M Mall in Penang," he said.
When asked if this recent operation was meant to cripple the whole illegal money scheme, Mohd Roslan said the freezing of the bank accounts and seizure of cash and cars should somehow stop the operations of the company.
"We have frozen the accounts, by right their operations should have been crippled," he said.
He added that the MBI Group's other subsidiary companies, about 20 of it, will also be investigated.
When asked why everything had appeared normal in M Mall in Penang where business is as usual, Mohd Roslan said the mall is still allowed to continue operating as usual.
"They can continue as normal until we complete investigations into this whole case, let us finish our investigations first," he said.
He also advised the public and businesses against joining the illegal money scheme.
"We hope those who are already in the scheme can also step forward to lodge reports with us to help in investigations," he said.
So far, he said no "investors" of the scheme had lodged reports against MBI Group or its subsidiaries.