Genneva Gold has liabilities exceeding 10 times its assets.

Tuesday December 4, 2012 Bank Negara: Genneva sustained serious losses

By LOSHANA K. SHAGAR loshana@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has revealed that more than 8,000 customers of gold investment company Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd have yet to receive their gold amounting to over 4,000kg despite having settled their payments.

In a statement, the bank added that company documents seized showed that some customers, who had surrendered their gold to the company, had not received their cash reimbursements amounting to more than RM80mil.

“Initial forensic accounting has uncovered considerable losses experienced by the company this year. The company has liabilities exceeding 10 times its assets.

“Selling gold at about 20% to 25% higher than the market price, paying returns of about 2% to 3% per month to customers and buying back the gold from customers at the initial purchase price has not been a sustainable venture,” the statement said yesterday.

It also noted that Genneva’s operations, as seen from its cash flow, relied heavily on the amount collected from new customers.

Genneva was raided by Bank Negara, the police, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and the Companies Commission of Malaysia on Oct 2.

Three days later, the authorities conducted raids on the premises of Pageantry Gold Bhd, Caesar Gold Sdn Bhd and Worldwide Far East Bhd on suspicion of illegal deposit-taking, money-laundering, tax evasion and avoidance and false description.

The statement said Genneva had RM99.8mil and 126kg of gold seized, which BNM said were required for investigations and will only be dealt with at the direction of the courts.

It advised the public to refer to the central bank’s website for further information.

Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said Bank Negara had no authority to unfreeze accounts which were frozen due to investments in illegal schemes.

Any assets involved in criminal proceedings could only be administered with a court order, he added.

“Investors can file a third party suit to the court for the return of their money or assets,” he told Senator Chew Lee Giok at the Dewan Negara.

Earlier, in response to another question from Chew on the difference between legal and illegal gold investment schemes, Lim said illegal ones would normally offer high profits within a short period and involved no risk.

Source: The Star

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