NO PHOTOS ALLOWED: COPS, BANK NEGARA RAID PENANG’S ‘VIRTUAL MONEY’ MALL

GEORGE TOWN – A team of officers has raided a mall here where shoppers pay for things in virtual currency.

Government officers were seen entering M Mall, which honours the virtual coins of financial scheme operator MBI Group International, at noon on Monday.

Police officers and personnel from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia entered the mall’s management office on the fifth floor.

Reporters were prevented from taking pictures or entering with them.

None of the authorities have released official statements on the raid.

On May 22, Bank Negara red-flagged MBI International Sdn Bhd and Mface International Sdn Bhd, which are subsidiaries of MBI Group.

Investors in the scheme are allowed to spend their loyalty points, which are converted from virtual money or coins, in exchange for goods and services at affiliated companies, including a supermarket, restaurants, a gym and even a durian stall.

To date, 302 companies have been listed under the BNM financial consumer alert list for suspicion of not adhering to relevant laws and regulations in their operations.

– ANN

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