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Bank Negara Malaysia Raided Six Companies on Suspicion of Conducting Illegal Foreign Currency Dealings

Salam everyone,
The Malaysian Central Bank or Bank Negara Malaysia issued a press statement on the 19th regarding a raid they had conducted against six local companies. Following is the statement from the BNM’s website:

On 18 August 2008, Bank Negara Malaysia raided AFS Global Holdings Sdn Bhd, Reed Corporation Sdn Bhd, Sigma Platinum Sdn Bhd, Wisdom Spectrum Sdn Bhd, Maxficient Consultancy Sdn Bhd and Practical Support Sdn Bhd under Section 4 of the Exchange Control Act 1953. The Act prohibits any person, other than authorized dealers, which are the licensed financial institutions, from buying or borrowing any foreign currency from, or selling or lending any foreign currency to, any other person other than an authorized dealer. Any person or company who commits an offence under section 4 of the Exchange Control Act 1953 shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.

The raids were conducted at the premises of the companies in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor following complaints received from members of the public. Relevant assets and documents of the companies were seized for purpose of the investigation.

Members of the public are advised to be cautious of investment schemes promoted on the internet, through phone calls or through seminars conducted by individuals or companies that are not licensed or authorized by Bank Negara Malaysia to accept deposits or to conduct foreign currency dealings. A list of all licensed institutions that accept deposits is available on Bank Negara Malaysia’s website at www.bnm.gov.my.

Members of the public can contact Bank Negara Malaysia for enquiries and further advice at the following address and telephone contact numbers:

Laman Informasi Nasihat dan Khidmat (BNMLINK)
(Walk-in Customer Service Centre)
Ground Floor, Block D
Jalan Dato’ Onn
50480 Kuala Lumpur

1-300-88-5465 or

E-mail: bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my

Bank Negara Malaysia
19 August 2008

So if you have been approached by certain people, asking you to invest in forex and deposit your hard earned cash to them, BEWARE! They cannot operate without a valid license from BNM. This is a direct link to the press statement.

This reminded me of a company which I had the chance to be inside their operation. This was after graduation and I was hunting for a job. I went for an interview and they hired me on the spot. They gave me some training on forex trading and urged us to get investors for their company. Although they taught me some very good lessons, the management was very secretive and I suspected something was wrong when they refused to give me a proper employment contract. So I bailed after a week. Later I found out that the company went under. Probably raided by BNM. This gave forex a bad rep in the country.

However, BNM has laid certain guidelines about foreign investment. It states that an individual is free to invest in foreign currencies or assets or any other investment instrument as long as they are using their own funds. An individual is also allowed to borrow for this purpose but only to a certain limit. Here’s a link to the relevant webpage. It explains in further and better detail than I can.

So always double and triple check with the company whether it has a valid license before you think of investing with that company.

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