Thursday, May 16, 2013

Genneva: Judge says it is genuine gold trading; acquits directors

The three Genneva Sdn Bhd directors and a former director charged with 224 charges of money-laundering and five charges of illegal deposit-taking involving more than RM141mil were acquitted and discharged by a Sessions Court here.

Judge Rozana Ali Yusof made the decision Thursday after the defence succeeded in establishing doubt in the case against Datuk Ng Poh Weng, Datuk Marcus Yee Yuen Seng, Datuk Chin Wai Leong and former director Liew Chee Wah.

Judge Rozana said Genneva was not doing illegal deposit taking but doing genuine gold trading.

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She said the buy-back concept was found to be nothing but a marketing strategy employed by the company to assure the buyer that the gold bars were of genuine gold.

"That is why Genneva is willing to buy back the gold," she said when delivering her judgement on Thursday.

Ng faces 93 charges of money-laundering, Yee and Chin faces 40 charges and 61 charges respectively and former Liew faces 30 counts.

They were said to have committed the offences between July 2008 and June 2009 and were charged under Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Ng, 63, Yee, 61, Chin, 37, and Liew, 59, were also each accused of accepting deposits from the public in their capacity as directors without a valid licence at Jalan Kuchai Lama here between November 2008 and July 2009.

The company was charged with accepting deposits from the public without a valid licence at the same time and place.

To this charge, the four and the company were charged under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act.

Counsel Mohamed Haniff and K. Selva Kumaran acted for Ng, Yee and Chin and Keppy Wong for Liew.

The deputy public prosecutors from BNM were Alvin Ong and Mardziatun Nisa Ahamadul Kabir.

The prosecution had applied for a stay and the gold and money to be frozen pending appeal.

The hearing of the stay has been fixed for Friday.

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