KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 ― Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said today that illegal financial schemes can be quashed if the public is taught to avoid these.
Despite recent enforcement, the central bank revealed today that there are still punters seeking out such unregulated schemes that promise unrealistic returns in the hopes of cashing out before they collapse.
“The existence of these schemes are also encouraged by the participation of the public, driven by a sense of greed and misplaced confidence.
“If the public stops participating today the illegal schemes will eventually close down,” BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim told the press here.
BNM warned the public that the business model offered by such schemes is never sustainable, since it does not generate any real economic activities.
Earlier this month, BNM said it will not hesitate to enforce the law against perpetrators and promoters of illegal financial schemes and has vowed that wrongdoers will face the full brunt of the law.
These include laws administered by BNM, the Penal Code, the Interest Schemes Act 2016, the Direct Sales and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act 1993, as well as, the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
BNM also had announced that any financial fraud and scams would be pursued by an inter-agency initiative led by the Attorney-General’s Chambers under the National Coordination Committee to Counter Money Laundering.
It reiterated today legal action can also be taken against investors participating in illegal schemes for abetment, under the Financial Services Act 2013.
Muhammad said today that the joint enforcement body will take action under various legislations, and make itself a platform the assess the need for a more unified national approach to combat the illegal schemes.
On Tuesday, police arrested JJ Poor To Rich (JJPTR) scheme founder Johnson Lee and his two senior aides, following a joint raid by government agencies including the police on eight JJPTR offices, which led to the arrest of 15 staff members and four investors.
The Penang-based money game scheme is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for the offence of cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, which comes with a penalty of minimum one-year to maximum ten-year jail term, whipping and a fine.