The answer to the troubling question of whether the JJPTR loss was the initially claimed RM500m or RM1.7b, as founder Johnson Lee later said, the latter figure being what is believed to have been pocketed by the company from investors, according to the police – begs to be answered in view of public interest.
- Johnson Lee asserted JJPTR operating as usual, but staff said offices ordered to close for indefinite period
- Cops could detain Lee at company dinner this Saturday
- JJ Mart’s signboard showing a change in ownership from JJ Global Mart to LF Mart raising suspicion
When news broke on Apr 23 of JJPTR’s alleged hacking job, the loss reported then was RM500m. Within days, the figure floated from US$50m (RM218m) to US$400m (RM1.75b). Now, Penang police chief Chuah Ghee Lye says the company is believed to have pocketed RM1.7b from investments made by victims. The huge difference in figures in itself is troubling.
On Friday, authorities conducted eight raids on JJPTR offices around Penang, with a total of 19 people detained to assist in investigations. The suspects, aged between 23 and 40, comprised 13 female and two male employees, as well as four investors – three women and a man. They were released after their statements were taken.
Police seized in the raids hundreds of documents, computers, cash counting machines, closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) recorders and RM3,300 cash, among other items.
Police have urged the public, especially victims, to lodge reports.
“So far, we have received two reports from individuals claiming to be victims of the syndicate,” Chuah said.
An investigating officer (IO) has also filed a police report over JJPTR.
“The IO’s report was to enable him to conduct an investigation into the matter,” Chuah added.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the case is classified as cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code.
Police have also commenced action to freeze the bank accounts of JJPTR under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA).
“We urge the public to be careful and not be deceived by such fraudulent investment schemes. If such offers come their way, always check with the relevant government agencies to verify if it is legit before losing their hard-earned money.” Acryl Sani said.
Yesterday, Lee, in a statement circulated on social media, assured investors that the matter will be resolved. He said a new 35% scheme scheduled to take off yesterday would proceed and confirmed he will attend a company event in Kuala Lumpur on May 20 as planned. He asserted JJPTR will be operating as usual and he would not abscond as alleged by certain quarters.
“Time will prove everything,” he said, adding he will not be affected by this and expressed gratitude to his supportive investors for trusting him.
Lee was last seen in public on May 10 when he refunded the capital of 10 OKU investors, with amounts between US$25 (RM108) and US$4,000 (RM17,388) each. That was his first public appearance since news of the JJPTR collapse.
Police said they would detain Lee “if the need arises”. Lee is believed to be still in the country.
The China Press reported a police source to have said that authorities could arrest Lee if he turned up at the company dinner at Berjaya Times Square on Saturday.
The Star reported that a JJPTR employee said there has been no instruction on cancelling the company dinner and believed that Lee will still attend the event. He added, however, that all JJPTR offices were ordered to close for an indefinite period from last Friday – which contradicts Lee’s statement yesterday that JJPTR will be operating as usual.
Checks showed that JJPTR offices in Penang were closed on Saturday, some with their roller shutters down. However, JJ Marts were operating as usual. According to the JJ Mart signboard in Perak Road, the convenience store was owned by JJ Global Mart Sdn Bhd and was changed to LF Mart Sdn Bhd on Thursday – a move viewed with suspicion of JJPTR manipulating its businesses and finances beyond the reach of prosecution and litigation, while issuing empty promises to buy time.
With the majority of investors still not being refunded their money and the troubling questions that are no clearer to being answered than when the fiasco began, the implications of JJPTR being one of the largest investment frauds in Malaysian history seem inevitable.
May 12, JJPTR Raid, Bank Accounts Frozen
Apr 25, Game Over for JJPTR?