Forex Scam Brought To Light By Datuk Ramanan
At the end of March 2017, police took down VenusFX, a Forex scheme syndicate that swindled RM80 million from 23,000 victims who had invested between RM2,000 and RM40,000 of their life savings.
Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Commissioner, Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said police launched Operation Nuri to take down these scammers after receiving over 400 police reports from victims of VenusFX.
“Six people, including a woman, were arrested in a series of raids in Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Selangor. We also seized a laptop, ten mobile phones, ten ATM cards and five cars, all worth a total of around RM750,000,” he said.
Police remanded the group, aged between 28 and 38, for 21 days under Section 3(1) of the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca). Police also urged the public to always be cautious of schemes that promise huge returns within a short period of time.
The first exposé
Police began their investigations when Press Secretary to The President of The Senate and former treasurer-general of MIC, Dato’ Ramanan Ramakrishnan, joined the victims in filing police reports against VenusFX. A prominent social advocator against Ponzi Schemes, Dato’ Ramanan initiated the crusade to deliver justice for these unfortunate victims.
The victims began to realise that they were being tricked when they did not see the guaranteed returns that were promised. Some even recollected how they had gotten some preliminary returns which enticed them to part with more of their hard-earned cash thinking it would bring them more wealth.
All victims alleged that they were assured daily yields which have yet to be handed to any of them. One investor was reported to have invested about RM55 million while about 20,000 investors poured in a minimum of RM2,000 each into VenusFX.
Dato’ Ramanan exposed the owners of the company, a Datuk Seri and his wife as the main perpetrators. He continued to reveal the couple’s modus operandi that used the names of Malaysian leaders to obtain investment banking licenses, to convince foreign Forex operations to invest in their company.
Based on the accumulated police reports, the company was investigated and early revelations exposed VenusFX’s business module that is similar to the pyramid system or the workings of a Ponzi scheme. The company had presented itself as a trading platform dedicated to Gold and Silver transactions in the Forex market.
Special bonuses were given out whenever someone opened a new account. Investors were guaranteed an exorbitant high return on investment of 480% in just 80 days. Nevertheless, there were no clear process of how the ROI was being generated.
From its initial launch date in mid-2016 until the end of the year, a large pool of investors deposited a total amount up to RM80 million, as the offer of extraordinarily quick returns were too good to pass up.
Since there was no real Forex trading involved to generate the ROI as claimed, VenusFX stayed afloat by merely reprocessing the recently gained funds to pay off the group of early investors. Predictably, all investors had begun encountering problems withdrawing their earnings including their initial principal amount by September 2016.
By then, it was already too late for the victims as the scammers had already absconded with all their money.
Dato’ Ramanan Ramakrishnan: Prevention is better than cure
Considering the speed at which the public responded to the scam, it is worth taking extra precaution when approached by friends or strangers with investment schemes that promise massive earnings with low risk in a short period of time.
It is wise not to get involved in any investment scheme if you have no detailed knowledge of a particular company’s business dealings, products or services. By staying aware, you can save yourself from being easily lured by these scammers.
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