MO,15/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 27 individuals have been summoned to provide their statements on the RM31.5 billion losses incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in its foreign exchange (forex) losses between 1992 and 1994. Federal Commercial Crime department director Datuk Seri Amar Singh said police will call up more individuals to have their statements recorded to assist the investigation into the case. “Out of the 27 people, 19 are BNM staff, five are from the Finance Ministry while three are civilians, including a former minister.
“At the same time, we will summon even more witnesses to provide their statements to assist the probe,” he told a press conference at Bukit Aman today. Amar said trhe police are focusing their investigation on four main thrusts, including the possibility that several elements were used to ‘hide’ the actual losses suffered by BNM during the period. “We are also investigating the possibility of misleading statements presented to the cabinet, parliament as well as the public over the actual scale of the losses, done with the aim of exerting influence to compel the financial institution’s annual account to be gazetted by parliament.
“At the same time, we are also probing as to whether those with interests in the matter are purposely masking the scale of the losses. “We are also investigating whether the transfer of ownership and sale of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), Malaysian Airlines System Bhd (MAS) and Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) shares, were done discreetly to BNM in 1993 to absorb some of the losses incurred over the forex losses, with the aim of hiding the losses and balancing the numbers,” he said.
He said the investigation is still ongoing, with relevant parties expected to be summoned to complete the probe soon. “We will ensure that the investigation is conducted professionally and fairly, in accordance with the law,” he said. On July 15, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe the losses incurred by BNN in the forex market in the 1990s.
The RCI convened for 10 days from August 21. Following the RCI, the commission’s secretary, Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail lodged a police report after finding elements of breach of trust, fraud and other offences possibly committed by those involved in the trading. Police then launched an investigation by setting up a special team to probe the case in accordance with Section 409, 417 and 418 of the Penal Code.