Picture from: http://swisscash-singapore.blogspot.com/
Swiss Scam: RM286m payback for Swisscash investors
Monday, 29 September 2008 09:03am
©New Straits Times (Used by permission)
KUALA LUMPUR: Investors in the Swisscash investment scam will get back US$83 million (RM286.3 million) — a fraction of the tens of millions they have ploughed in.
The Securities Commission said yesterday it had obtained a landmark High Court judgment on Sept 25 against three defendants — Albert Lee Kee Sien, Kelvin Choo Mun Hoe and Dynamic Revolution Sdn Bhd.
The defendants have been ordered to pay the sum and any further amounts traced by the SC, to compensate investors of the scam.
They have also been restrained from carrying on the Swisscash business, acting as unlicensed fund managers and/or investment advisers, from collecting investment funds for any investment scheme or hosting any Internet investment scheme websites. If they fail to comply, the SC can take contempt proceedings against them.
“This judgment is the culmination of two years’ of intensive efforts by the SC in pursuing the perpetrators. This involved cross-border investigations spanning seven countries to gather evidence and trace Swisscash monies,” the SC said in a statement.
The regulator had successfully obtained a worldwide Mareva injunction in June last year to prevent the defendants from disposing of their assets in and outside Malaysia.
A court order was also obtained in September last year, directing one of the defendants to transfer RM35 million of Swisscash monies back to Malaysia.
Since then, the SC has led a meeting of seven regulators to intensify cross-border co-operation and exchange of information on the Swisscash scam.
This judgment will allow the SC to work with its counterparts in other countries, including Switzerland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Australia and Singapore to trace and repatriate Swisscash monies of RM30 million known to be held overseas to satisfy the judgment.
Eligible investors will be compensated once these monies have been successfully repatriated.
“This achievement disposes of SC’s action against three of the four defendants named in the civil suit filed in June last year.
“The fourth defendant, Amir Hassan, is still contesting the civil action,” it added.
Swisscash, promoted by Swiss Mutual Fund, is said to be an offshore investment company headquartered in the Commonwealth of Dominica. However, the fund’s board of directors comprised only Dominican citizens with no ties to Switzerland.
The fund is believed to have been started after World War 2 in 1948 by the Cheviot family of France, with operations based in Berne, Switzerland.
In 1996, the firm moved to the Commonwealth of Dominica due to changes in financial regulations in Europe.
However, the Swiss embassy in Kuala Lumpur has denied the company’s link with the original organisation based in Switzerland.
On Dec 13, 2006, Swiss Mutual Fund (1948) S.A. was struck off the Commonwealth of Dominica’s Register of International Business Companies.
Tens of thousands have fallen victim to the scam, including Malaysians who were introduced to it in April 2005.
In 2006, the SC began investigations into the scam under the Securities Industry Act 1983 and the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, following public complaints.
About RM35 million is currently held in six bank accounts in Hong Kong and eight bank accounts in Singapore.