PUTRAJAYA, May 31 – A total of 91 bank accounts, amounting to RM177 million, have been frozen following Monday’s raids on various locations linked to a local financial scheme company, MBI Group International. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry’s enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin said the accounts with eight banks comprised of 43 companies and 48 individuals were frozen under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
Roslan said the accounts were frozen based on the information and evidence obtained during the raid of Mfc Club and the companies involved, where they are also suspected of committing an offence of being involved, whether directly or directly, in transactions involving revenue from illegal activities, and acquiring, receiving, and possessing revenue from the illegal activities.
“In the raid, various documents, information on financial transactions, computer equipment and several luxury and branded items were also seized. These include two units of gold bars, branded handbags, branded watches and jade,” Roslan said during a press conference at the ministry offices here Wednesday, Mohd Roslan confirmed that the accounts were connected to MBI.
“No arrests have been made so far. Investigations are being carried out under Section 4 of the Direct Selling Act and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act 1993 for operating a direct selling business without a licence and Section 27B for promoting or causing to be promoted a pyramid scheme. At the same time, Bank Negara Malaysia is probing MBI under the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Companies Commission of Malaysia,” he said here today.
The freeze came on the back of a joint operation known as Ops Token last Monday on the Mface Club schemes, involving six raids at premises around Klang Valley and at the M Mall in Penang where the shoppers are allows to trade using virtual coins to exchange for goods and services.
The joint operation involved the team consisting of police officers, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry officers as well as those from other agencies. It was reported that Mface International and MBI International Sdn Bhd, which are subsidiaries of MBI Group, has been listed in Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) alert list with effect on May 22.
To date, 302 companies have been listed under the BNM financial consumer alert list for suspicion of not adhering to relevant laws and regulations in their operations. It is learnt that members of the scheme get a sum of virtual coins after investing. After a year, members can convert coins into points to spend in several services and retail establishments under MBI by downloading a mobile application and using it to make payments. — PN