KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 – The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) raided the offices of Date Palm Agro Bhd and Safawi Agro Farm in Mid Valley for offering interest schemes promising high returns which were not registered under SSM here today. The modus operandi for the company was to offer investment opportunities for date palm tree planting schemes in Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor respectively.
Investors were promised that they would receive returns on investment depending on how many trees they purchased. Each tree fetches around RM3,000 to RM5,000. According to SSM Deputy CEO (Regulatory and Enforcement) Nor Azimah Abdul Aziz, they had received a complaint on the company earlier.
“We acted on this because we received a complaint from a potential investor about this. The investor wanted to check with us and when we did our investigations, we found out that the scheme was not registered,” she said in a press conference adding that the complaint was made in December 2016. She said that the company should have registered the investment scheme with the SSM in compliance with all registration requirements.
About 10 SSM officers and two police officers from the Crime Investigation Department in Bukit Aman had raided the offices of the company to seize relevant documents pertinent in its investigations. She added that no details could be given as to the investigation thus far as they are still in the midst of sifting through the companies files.
According to Azimah, once invested, investors would make their money through the fruit their tree produced at a price of RM12 to RM20 a kilogram depending on the quality and the size of the fruit. The company promised that return on investment could reach RM1 million after ten years depending on the trees yield of fruit.
However, planting of date palms in the country is against the law as no permit has ever been approved to import the plants. According to reports in the past Malaysia Agriculture Department has vehemently stated that no permit was given to any firm to import date palms, in accordance with the Plant Quarantine Act 1976 and Plant Quarantine Regulations 1981. It further stated that exceptions were only made for research purposes.