GEORGE TOWN – A bank account holding RM27mil has been frozen following raids on MBI Group International, and it is learnt that a top official of the Group has been arrested.
The raids were conducted by the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry with the assistance of Bank Negara Malaysia, the police, and the Attorney-General’s office.
In a brief statement on Tuesday, the Ministry revealed that operations were conducted in Penang and Kedah on Monday, and that authorities have frozen the bank account belonging to a suspect.
The suspect’s identity was, however, not made known.
Cash of RM688,000 and three luxury vehicles were also seized in the operations.
Law enforcement officials are expected to give more details at a press conference later Tuesday.
On May 31, a total of RM177mil in 91 bank accounts was frozen following raids on several locations linked to MBI International.
A multi-agency team raided the M Square logistics centre in Kuala Lumpur and M Mall, a shopping complex in Penang where shoppers use loyalty reward points in exchange for goods.
Dubbed Ops Token, the raids were conducted under the Direct Selling and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act 1993 and led by officers from the ministry, police, Companies Commission of Malaysia, CyberSecurity Malaysia and Bank Negara.
The raids came after the ministry received complaints from the public, but no arrests were made, according to its enforcement chief Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin.
He said the accounts were frozen under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
He added that the accounts were with eight different banks, 43 of them company accounts and 48 under individuals.
MBI International was earlier red-flagged by Bank Negara for having a questionable financial scheme.
Members put money into the scheme and get a number of virtual coins in return.
After an “incubation period” of over a year, they can then convert these coins into points to spend on goods and services at retail establishments under the MBI umbrella, such as M Mall.
The scheme is said to give substantial returns each year and is believed to be the longest-running financial scheme founded in Penang.