Johor police bust drug ring, seize RM1.75 million worth of liquid syabu


SINDIKET PENGEDARAN DADAH TUMPAS / IPD MUAR

MO,13/2/2018, MUAR: Police have busted a drug trafficking ring, specialising in distribution of liquid syabu, following the arrest of three people in three separate raids near Bakri on Monday. The police team raided three houses in the area and seized 0.86 grammes of heroin, 77.17 grammes of syabu and 16 erimin 5 pills worth about RM40,000.

Muar police chief Assistant Commissioner Zaharudin Rasip said two buckets, containing 25.5 kilogrammes of liquid syabu, worth RM1.75 million, were also seized at one of the houses. “Acting on a tip-off, a team from the district Narcotics Criminal Investigation Division conducted the raids and seized the drugs,” he said.

He added that the police were still investigating whether the liquid syabu, valued at about RM70,000 per kilogrammes, will be further processed at the houses or distributed for other uses. Also seized were RM250 in cash and a BMW worth RM80,000.

Zaharudin said the three suspects, aged between 35 and 43, have been remanded until next Monday. “Two of the suspects were tested positive for methamphetamine,” said Zaharudin.

He said the case is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.



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MMEA seizes RM2.5 million worth of contraband off Tanjung Piai waters


SUMUGLER

MO,12/2/2018, GELANG PATAH: A barter trade ship cruising along Tanjung Piai last Saturday evening was stopped by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on suspicion of smuggling contraband goods.

According to South Region maritime director Datuk Abu Bakar Idris, the agency was tipped off about the ship’s smuggling of contraband cigarettes and liquor near Tanjung Piai waters.

Abu Bakar said the agency enforcement team who raided the ship found 916,500 packs of white cigarettes and 3,038 bottles of liquor which are estimated to be worth RM2.5 million.

“We also seized the ship and detained the ten men aged between 25 and 53 years old onboard. They are all crew members,” he said.

Abu Bakar said the crew members on the ship failed to provide any legal documents relating to their cargo of cigarettes and liquor,” he said.

Abu Bakar said the offence committed was investigated under Section 135 (1) (D) Customs Act 1967 which stipulates a fine of not less than ten times the amount of the goods seized and up to three years jail or both, upon conviction.

–NSTP



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Samsung chairman named as suspect in 7.5 million tax evasion case



SEOUL: Barely days after his son’s jail release this week, the Samsung Chairman finds himself facing fresh allegations of white-collar crime.

South Korean police on Thursday (February 8) named Lee Kun-hee, seen here in 2012, as a suspect in a 7.5 million dollar tax evasion case involving the use employee bank accounts.

But the elder Lee is in the hospital and could not be questioned due to his physical condition.

The chairman has been there since 2014 after suffering a heart attack, after which his son was regarded as the de facto head of the group.

Police said the bank accounts, holding over 350 million dollars, were found during a look into whether the elder Lee had misappropriated company funds to renovate the Lee family home.

These aren’t his first criminal allegations, either.

In 2009, the elder Lee was convicted on a separate charge of tax evasion, and later pardoned by former President Lee Myung-bak.

Current leader Moon Jae-in has vowed to put the the country’s family-run conglomerates under stronger scrutiny.

He’s also promised to end presidential pardons of corporate leaders.

World No. 1 chipmaker Samsung Electronics has so far weathered the storm of scandals.

The company earned record profits while the younger Lee spent a year in jail.



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Women entrepreneurs to get RM250 million from Tekun Nasional


TEKUN

MO,5/2/2018, PUTRAJAYA: Fifty per cent or RM250 million from the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) will be allocated for female entrepreneurs as part of Women Empowerment Year. Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the allocation is to help women entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses.

“As announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, 2018 is the Year to Empower Women. Besides setting 30 per cent target of decision-making roles to be held by women, another important aspect is to encourage women to be financially-independent.

“For instance, there are many cases of wives being abandoned by husbands who are the sole breadwinner in the household, or single mothers who are struggling to build a better life. Empowerment means giving someone the ability to control their life and be economically-independent.

“So the ministry has agreed to give financial assistance of RM250 million from the RM500 million allocation, to female entrepreneurs. In fact, our studies also showed that women entrepreneurs are more consistent in repaying the Tekun Nasional scheme than men,” he told reporters after launching the Tekun Pay mobile apps, here, today.

During the tabling of 2018 Budget, Najib announced an allocation of RM500 million to Tekun Nasional to assist small-scale entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. At the event, Shabery said Tekun Pay mobile apps allows entrepreneurs under the Tekun Nasional financing sheme to repay the scheme at their fingertips.

–NSTP



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Customs seize 880kg of drugs worth RM18 million


DADAH

MO,29/1/2018, NILAI: The Royal Customs Department has crippled a drug syndicate and seized RM18 million worth of drugs weighing a total of 880 kilogrammes. Its director general Datuk Seri T Subromaniam said the department received a tip off from the public and a team of enforcement officers raided a storage premises in Kajang, Selangor last Friday at 11.30pm.

During the raid, the department confiscated 31 sacks of heroin weighing 776 kilogrammes and six sacks of ketamine weighing a total of 114 kilogrammes. He said all the drugs were declared as salt and were transported in two containers from Karachi, Pakistan via Port Klang. “We arrested 19 foreigners which include three women, of which 10 were from Pakistan, and four each from Myanmar and Indonesia aged between 18 and 50 years old.”

“Preliminary investigation show that the syndicate is headed by foreigners, of which the ring leaders are among those arrested.” “We believe Malaysia was a transit point and we will investigate further to determine if there are any locals involved or otherwise,” he told reporters at the department’s narcotics division here today. Subromaniam said the modus operandi of the syndicate is to bury each 25 kilogramme sack of drugs together with the 1,885 kilogramme of salt to deceive the authorities.

He added only seven foreigners have valid travel documents while the rest will be handed over to the Immigration Department for further action. “All suspects are remanded for seven days since Saturday to facilitate investigations under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.”

–HM



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Labuan’s RM12 million modern food court ready: Tengku Adnan


ADNAN

MO,19/1/2018, LABUAN: Labuan’s most-modern RM12 million food court complex which was recently completed will commence operations next month. The project, under the Federal Territories Ministry and located on a 1.6-acre site off Jalan Tanjung Purun, was approved under the 10th Malaysia Plan to replace the old food court in downtown.

Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the food court with a new concept of a myriad of food menus, would have a platform for various stage performances to lure the crowd. “The ministry will continue to provide better facilities, infrastructure and a conducive business environment for local entrepreneurs,” he said after making a series of checks on development projects here today.

He also noted that the affordable home project in Kg Ganggarak (Phase 1 and Phase 2) was completed after being monitored by his ministry and the Labuan Corporation (LC). The affordable home project, which is a facelift for the island is expected to be a centre of attraction to resolve the prolonged congestion in downtown Labuan.

Tengku Adnan said the project initiated in early 2014, was part of the government’s plan to help the middle and low income groups to own houses. He said Phase 1 and 2, comprising 520 units would be sold for between RM168, 000 and RM90, 000 per unit in the next three months.

Bernama



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Khazanah raises US320.8 million from sukuk issuance


KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) has priced exchangeable Sukuk of US$320.8 million (RM1.27 billion), which will be issued via a Labuan-incorporated independent special purpose vehicle, Cindai Capital Ltd. The exchangeable Sukuk would reference the value of H-shares in CITIC Securities Co Ltd (“CITIC Securities”), China’s largest securities brokerage firm.


Key Highlights:

  • Zero yield, zero coupon, five-year tenure with a three-year investor put option, with 40 percent exchange premium
  • Priced at the tightest end of initial price guidance
  • Oversubscribed by 5.5 times with a diverse investor base

The exchangeable Sukuk, with a tenure of 5 years and an investor put option exercisable at the end of year 3, was priced through an accelerated book-building process.

Structured with a zero periodic payment and 0.00% yield to maturity, the exchangeable Sukuk achieved the tightest end of the initial guidance at an exchange premium of 40% above the volume weighted average price of CITIC Securities shares on 17 January 2018.

The transaction was fully covered shortly after launch and drew a final demand of 5.5 times book size. 78 investors subscribed to the exchangeable Sukuk and they comprise long only funds, hedge funds, arbitrage funds as well as asset managers across Asia and Europe.

Khazanah Managing Director, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said: “The strong demand for the exchangeable Sukuk underscores investors’ confidence in Khazanah’s creditworthiness. It was opportune for us to successfully price the deal on the back of positive market sentiments in China and Hong Kong.”

The exchangeable Sukuk is structured based on the principle of Wakalah and provides the Sukuk holder with the option to receive cash or shares upon exchange.

CITIC Securities will be Khazanah’s eighth offering in an exchangeable Sukuk format, since the inaugural issue of Telekom Malaysia Berhad exchangeable Sukuk in 2006. The various issues have all been successfully implemented, winning multiple international awards over the years.

The exchangeable Sukuk will be listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited, Labuan International Financial Exchange Inc and Bursa Malaysia (under the Exempt Regime).

CIMB and J.P. Morgan are the Joint Bookrunners and Joint Lead Managers for this exchangeable Sukuk transaction.



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Are you a retired teacher? RM13.5 million in unclaimed fund contributions await


CIKGU

MO,16/1/2018, PUTRAJAYA: A whopping RM13.58 million in contributions under the Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Guru-Guru (KWSG) have remained unclaimed since 2007. Yayasan Guru Tun Hussein Onn (YGTHO) chief executive officer Zahirudin Mohammad Hanif said, based on their records, the amount belongs 1,910 teachers under the scheme.

“These teachers served as government school teachers between the period of 1950 and 2004,” he told a press conference today. The KWSG was established in 1962 to safeguard the interests and to benefit teachers serving in government schools under the Unified Teaching Service (UTS) Scheme.

However in 1972 when the ‘Opsyen Gaji Aziz’ was introduced, contributors opted to leave the KWSG and joined the new scheme for teachers under the UTS. At the time, there were already 63,641 members. Contributions as well as interest stood at RM100 million, Zahirudin said.

“This amount could not be withdrawn by contributors until they retired. “Only 2,000 out of 63,641 members continued contributing to the scheme. “As time passed, some remembered to claim their contributions while others did not come forward to withdraw their money,” he said.

Zahirudin said a large sum was paid out after KWSG managed to track down a number of contributors through newspaper advertisements, circulation notices and information passed by word of mouth. Efforts to reach out to the 1,910 members based on the details given to KWSG, however, proved fruitless, as there were change of addresses and contact details. Some had even migrated abroad, Zahirudin said.

On Dec 31, 2015, KWSG was abolished and was replaced with the YGTHO. The unclaimed funds were surrendered to the Unclaimed Money Registrar under the Finance Ministry. Zahirudin urged next-of-kin of teachers who have passed away to collect the funds.

“They only have to bring along letters or document to prove they are related to the deceased. This document must be endorsed by a Grade A civil servant or a village head. “We will arrange for everything else, including how to go about claiming the money from the Unclaimed Money Registrar.

“We hope to return this money to their rightful owners,” he added. He said the highest payout stood at RM68,000 per contributor. Zahirudin also stressed that the foundation will not appoint any agents for claiming purposes. The claims, he said, must be done either by the retired teachers themselves or their family members.

–NSTP



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Nissan sues India over outstanding dues seeks over US770 million



NEW DELHI: Japanese automaker Nissan Motor has begun international arbitration against India to seek more than US$770 million in a dispute over unpaid state incentives, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by Reuters.

In a legal notice sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, Nissan sought payment of incentives due from the Tamil Nadu government as part of a 2008 agreement to set up a car manufacturing plant in the southern state.

According to the notice, Nissan said repeated requests to state officials for the payment, due in 2015, were overlooked and even a plea by the company’s chairman, Carlos Ghosn, to Modi in March of last year seeking federal assistance did not yield any results.

The notice, sent by Nissan’s lawyers in July 2016, was followed by more than a dozen meetings between federal and state officials and Nissan executives, said the person familiar with the matter, who did not want to be named as it is not public.

The federal officials, from several ministries, assured Nissan the payment would be made, and it should not bring a legal case. But, in August, Nissan gave India an ultimatum to appoint an arbitrator, the person said, adding the first arbitration hearing will be in mid-December.

A Nissan spokesman said the company was “committed to working with the government of India toward a resolution,” but did not elaborate.

A senior Tamil Nadu state official said the government hoped to resolve the dispute without having to go to international arbitration. “There is no discrepancy with regard to the amount due, and we are trying hard to resolve the issue,” the official told Reuters.

Modi’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The case, brought against India for alleged violations of its Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan, is the latest in a string of international arbitration proceedings against the country by investors concerned about issues ranging from retrospective taxation to payments disputes.

There are over 20 cases pending against India, among the highest against any single nation.

The dispute between Nissan and the Tamil Nadu government also shows the challenges companies face in India and how local disputes could undermine the Modi government’s efforts to attract foreign investment and create new jobs.

GROWING LOSSES

Several automakers, including Ford and Hyundai Motor, have set up production hubs in Tamil Nadu, giving state capital Chennai the nickname; the ‘Detroit of South Asia’.

In 2008, when Nissan and its global alliance partner, French carmaker Renault, agreed to invest in setting up a car plant in Chennai, the state government promised several incentives including some tax refunds.

Over seven years, Nissan and Renault invested 61 billion rupees (US$946 million) and set up a plant with annual production capacity of 480,000 vehicles, which entitled them to receive the incentives in 2015, according to the legal notice.

In that notice, Nissan’s lawyers said the state government’s decision to not pay was “arbitrary”, and Nissan has “incurred significant and increasing losses”.

Nissan did not specify the business impact in the 8-page notice, but said in 2008 that state incentives were critical to the project’s viability and sustainability.

The carmaker, in its notice, is claiming 29 billion rupees in unpaid incentives and 21 billion rupees in damages, plus interest and other costs.

Nissan, which has less than a 2 percent share of India’s passenger car market, builds and sells the Micra hatchback, Sunny sedan and Terrano sport-utility vehicle. It also sells low-cost cars under its Datsun brand.

The company spokesman said Nissan has created more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in India.



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Boustead Plantations records RM561 million profit after tax for Q3FY17



KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Plantations Berhad (BPB) had a strong showing for its third quarter which ended September 30, 2017 with profit after tax (PAT) of RM561 million.

This reflects a sizeable jump from RM38 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter. Profit before tax (PBT) increased to RM599 million.

These improved results were primarily attributed to gains realised on disposal of land amounting to RM555 million.

Meanwhile, revenue for the quarter under review stood at RM183 million.

For the nine-month period, the group recorded a higher PAT of RM626 million, while PBT rose to RM685 million.

Revenue for the period increased to RM542 million.

In line with the group’s solid performance, the Board of Directors declared a third interim dividend of 3 sen per share and a special dividend of 7 sen per share for the financial year ending December 31, 2017.

The dividend will be paid on December 19, 2017 to shareholders on the register as at December 8, 2017.

In addition to improve liquidity of the stock and further reward shareholders, the group is proposing to undertake a bonus issue of 640 million new bonus shares to be credited as fully paid-up.

This proposed bonus issue is on the basis of two bonus shares for every five existing BPB shares held by shareholders on the register as per an entitlement date that will be determined later.

PLANTATION INDUSTRY SEEING IMPROVED OUTLOOK

The average crude palm oil (CPO) selling price for the nine-month period was RM2,871 per metric tonne (MT), up by 16% from RM2,475 per MT in the same period last year, while average palm kernel price rose by 8% to RM2,478 per MT.

Fresh fruit bunches (FFB) production increased by 5% to 696,668 MT, mainly as a result of improved yields post El-Nino in the first half of the year.

Average oil extraction rate for the period was 20.9 percent and kernel extraction rate was 4.3 percent, slightly lower than the same period last year.

BPB’s Vice Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Seri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said, “We are pleased to deliver a strong performance for the nine-month period. In addition to gains realised from disposal of land, our earnings were supported by better selling prices for palm products.”

For the nine-month period, the Peninsular region recorded a stronger operating profit of RM77 million, up by 63 percent compared with RM47 million in last year’s corresponding period. This was attributable to higher CPO prices.

As a result of improved production from the northern estates and young palms on the east coast, FFB crop rose by 10 percent to 305,713 MT.

The Sabah region posted a higher operating profit of RM59 million, a 24 percent increase from RM47 million in the same period last year. FFB crop grew by 4 percent to 294,243 MT, despite high turnover of workers and erratic weather conditions.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak region registered an operating profit of RM5 million, an improvement from the RM1 million recorded in the previous year’s corresponding period. This was attributable to higher selling prices for palm products. FFB crop for the period saw a slight drop to 96,712 MT.



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