Y Bhg Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar
Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia
SwissCash Press Conference
Good morning ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for coming. We have invited you here so we can update you on the progress we have made with regard to the Swisscash investment scam.
I am pleased to announce that the SC has entered into the largest settlement in our history involving a sum of approximately RM31 million. This is a milestone payout which is made possible following a consent judgment entered with two Swisscash defendants. The money will be used to restitute eligible investors who have suffered losses as a result of the scam.
This is a very significant achievement not only because of the magnitude of the payout but also the scale and scope of the scam. It had affected thousands of investors and prompted painstaking cross-border investigations and legal actions spanning 7 jurisdictions over more than three years. So far, some 3,000 people have lodged complaints to the SC alleging losses.
The restitution will be based on a court sanctioned distribution plan. Once the court’s approval has been obtained, the SC will appoint an administrator to manage the processing of the claims.
To be eligible for compensation, Swisscash investors must produce some documentary evidence of their investments. I would like to say at the outset though, that not all investors who have invested in this scheme will receive restitution. Investors who were also recruiters or upliners in the scheme will not be considered for compensation. The SC soon publish a notice setting out the process for Swisscash investors who have yet to register their claims.
I would like to remind investors that they must be vigilant at all times when making investment decisions in schemes such as Swisscash which promises extraordinarily high returns within short periods of time. These are ponzi schemes in which the returns paid to investors comprise nothing more than the principal investments made by other investors. These schemes are doomed to collapse, thus most investors will not only not get any profits that they have been promised, but they will also lose their principal investments.
I would like to stress that investors in illegal schemes cannot, as a matter of course, expect the regulators to get their money back for them. Swisscash is an exception. In this case, the recovery was only made possible not just by extremely painstaking efforts on our part, but also by the close cooperation and support that we have been receiving from our counterparts in the various countries. But not all cases will yield similar success as in this case.
Thus it is vital that investors exercise caution and vigilance and ensure that they scrutinize and understand the details of any investment offer that they wish to accept. If they are uncertain, they must ask for advice. I would like to reiterate that investors must check to ensure that they are dealing only with licensed fund managers who offer approved investment schemes. This information is available on the SC website.
Before I end, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to fellow regulators in the other jusrisdictions for their assistance and cooperation in making possible this successful outcome of a very protracted investigation. I would also like to thank BNM, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and Cybersecurity for their assistance. The assistance rendered by the MCMC and Cybersecurity were insturmental in helping us identify and block access to the SwissCash-related websites by the Malaysian public, very early into our investigation. Otherwise more Malaysians could have been victims of this scam.
Finally I would like to thank all our staff who have worked tirelessly on this case over the last three years.