Even before the launch of the now-grounded carrier MYAirline, companies linked to its co-founder were mired in controversies, many involving financial discrepancies.
Just two months before the low-cost airline started operations in January this year, a company owned by Datuk Allan Goh Hwan Hua and his wife Datin Neow Ean Lee was reprimanded by Bank Negara Malaysia and fined RM50mil for illegal deposit-taking.
Between 2018 and 2021, the companies were involved in illegal deposit-taking and money laundering, breaching laws under the Financial Services Act and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
The companies paid the fine a few weeks later.
Bank Negara also raided 22 premises linked to i-Serve in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur in November and froze cash amounting to almost RM120mil in 45 bank accounts of the company. i-Serve has since obtained leave from the High Court to initiate a judicial review to challenge the freezing of the accounts.
The raids were conducted in a joint operation with the National Anti-Financial Crime Centre, Securities Commission Malaysia, Companies Commission Malaysia (SSM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, CyberSecurity Malaysia and the police.
In May this year, the former CEO of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and Internet of Things Institute (MARii), Datuk Mohamad Madani Sahari, was slapped with multiple charges of money laundering.
One of them was for accepting a payment of RM38,000 in an illegal transaction from Goh’s company, Trillion Cove Holding.
Trillion Cove, incidentally, is a major shareholder of MYAirline. Checks by The Star with SSM showed that Goh’s 26-year-old son Sean Goh Tze Han is also among the shareholders of the airline.
Goh personally has less than 1% of the stake, but two companies linked to him – money-lending and financing company Trillion Cove and air transport company Zillion Wealth Bhd – hold the lion’s share of almost 65%.
As of Tuesday, the airline’s summary of financial information income revealed losses of over RM12.5mil.
Thousands of passengers who had bought air tickets from the airline for various destinations are in a quandary after the company abruptly ceased operations on Thursday and are seeking refunds that could amount to RM22mil.
The company has announced that it is seeking a new investor to rejuvenate and ease its financial pressures. – The Star