Johnson Lee is still missing in action but from the cryptic message on JJPTR’s website, he seems to be up to something. Meanwhile, as many there are investors of money games out there, as many differing opinions they have.
- JJPTR hints at launching new system in three days
- MBI investors – from the undaunted to anxious to furious
- Raid on M Mall
- Boss Venture victims – ‘bosses’ no more
JJPTR founder Johnson Lee’s whereabouts seem to be known only to his lawyers, who claim he is still in the country and that he needs to report to the Taiping police station regularly.
JJPTR offices are still closed following raids by authorities on May 12, but the company’s official website, which had been shut down since last Tuesday, has been accessible again since yesterday.
However, access is only to authorised users only. A cryptic message states that the company is currently meeting with international introduce brokers (IBs) prior to launching a new system in approximately three days. The home page also lists the agent ID numbers for 20 countries, including Malaysia.
The Star reported that according to an investor, all his investment information is still on the website.
A JJPTR employee claimed he had not heard from founder Johnson Lee since earlier this month.
“I was told by some investors that the website had been reactivated but so far, the boss has not given us any instructions on the company’s future direction,” he said.
Lee and two of his aides were released on police bail on May 23.
Lawyer G Jaya Prem has refuted rumours that Lee has fled the country, alleging that his client was lying low for safety reasons. He added that any further action will only be taken based on the outcome of the current investigation into Lee’s involvement in the JJPTR investment scheme,
Penang police chief Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye said Lee was wanted by a few police contingents to facilitate investigations.
“We have been given three months to wrap up our investigations and need to brief Bukit Aman soon,” he said.
Penang police also said that they have thus far not received any reports on MBI International Sdn Bhd and Mface International Sdn Bhd.
Chuah said investors would usually not make police reports if they received returns as promised, for fear the dividends will stop once the authorities take action.
The MBI scheme offered virtual coins with a US$5,000 (RM22,500) investment at an exchange rate of RM4.50 per US$. Investors can then use the virtual currency to redeem goods and services at outlets which accept the currency.
Both MBI and Mface were listed on Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) consumer alert list on May 22. However, investors of the two companies remain unperturbed.
According to The Sun Daily, Loh Keng Peng, 45, said he was confident of the businesses after investing some tens of thousands of ringgit a few years ago. In exchange, he said he has been given redemption credits to buy goods at retailers which accept such credits.
“I trust the company and will stick to it, it is one of the famous establishment,” he said.
Another investor, Goh, 39, said the schemes by the two firms were different from the troubled JJPTR but declined to elaborate.
“Anyway, I hope the company will furnish more information on what is happening,” he added.
Yang Qing, 34, an investor from Tianjin in China, said she did not know of the two companies being put on the alert list as she was not familiar with Malaysian law.
Some of the retailers at M Mall in Jalan Datuk Keramat, believed to be owned by MBI, were also not aware the two companies were placed on the alert list for suspicion of not adhering to relevant laws and regulations by Bank Negara.
Under the Financial Services Act 2013, individuals or businesses involved in illegal financial activities can be fined up to RM50m and jailed for 10 years.
To date, there are 302 companies listed and the list can be found at http://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=en_financialconsumeralert.
The Star also reported of MBI investors echoing similar sentiments. Two Chinese nationals shopping at the mall said it never crossed their minds that MBI would collapse since the company had so many businesses.
“We still invest in MBI, even though it has been banned in our country. We invested a lot and we are in Penang to shop and see what else we can invest in,” one of them said, declining to be named.
A Malaysian MBI investor, who did not know of the company being in the alert list, said, “I have nothing to worry about. I will continue to invest and spend my reward points here,” he added.
However, a woman known as Chan said that she was concerned since her son had invested tens of thousands of ringgit in MBI.
“He even refinanced his house to invest more in the scheme. I’m worried for him if something happens to the company,” she said.
Ah Tin, 68, said she hoped that MBI would not end up like the troubled JJPTR.
An employee of the mall’s management office claimed they had been told not to divulge any information about the company to the media. According to another employee, sales could be as much as RM300,000 a day during the investors’ carnival.
However, at least one family feud has arisen over investments in MBI.
Ah Choo, a 44-year-old clerk, said she would never forgive her younger brother for getting their 75-year-old mother involved in the MBI money game.
“When he told me he wanted to invest in early January, I advised him not to.
“Today, after reading news about MBI, my mum admitted that she had invested about RM22,000 through my brother.
“She is now worried about her investment. She’s a retiree and it was her life savings,” she said last week.
“My mum opted for the one-year investment package where you get nothing in the first 12 months.
“You can cash your profit only from the second year onwards. Now, my mum can’t withdraw it even if she wants to,” Ah Choo said.
Ah Choo called on the authorities to verify all the businesses linked to MBI and its subsidiaries.
Both MBI International Sdn Bhd and Mface International Sdn Bhd are subsidiaries of MBI Group International, which has investors worldwide, many of them from China.
According to The Star, MBI International chairman Tedy Teow’s special assistant known as Alfa told a Chinese daily that he did not think the company would face any problems.
Update: In the latest development, government authorities raided M Mall at noon today. No official statements have been released yet.
In Kuala Lumpur, two money-game victims came forward to speak of their plight. The two school bus drivers from Cheras claimed they had lost more than RM60,000 after investing in online shopping scheme Boss Venture Malls, which promised 1.5% dividends daily or a compounded interest rate of 56 per cent a month. They invested in the scheme in 2013 but alleged that they have not received any dividends since 2014.
Apparently, they got suspicious when their upline sent them a message on Apr 30 telling them not to be anxious about the spate of money games collapsing. They were assured that their investments were still safe and were urged to be patient and continue to wait.
One of the drivers, Yap, 56, said at a press conference last Friday at Cheras MCA division office in Taman Midah: “I just realised I’m a victim of a money game. I don’t want others to fall into the same trap as I did.”
He alleged he had invested RM33,000 of his retirement savings into the scheme.
The other bus driver, Ng, 44, claimed that he invested RM33,000 of his savings for his children’s education.
Both bus drivers lodged police reports last Tuesday.
Cheras Wanita MCA chairman Heng Sinn Yee urged more victims to file police reports so that investigations could be conducted.
“If no police report is made, many of these money game schemes continue to evade detection.
“We want these schemes to be listed on Bank Negara’s Financial Consumer Alert as soon as possible so that the public can be alerted to their dubious nature,” she said.
The company believed to be behind the Boss Venture Malls scheme is Cash Deal Sdn Bhd, which is under Bank Negara’s alert list. Their websites are no longer in operation.
May 24, Calls for MonSpace to Prove It is Legit
May 20, JJPTR Trio on the Move
May 19, JJPTR ‘Hack’ of a Lie!
May 18, Hunting Down Alex Wong
May 12, JJPTR Raid, Bank Accounts Frozen
Apr 25, Game Over for JJPTR?