Kuala Lumpur, 14 May 2007

Soh Chee Wen pleads guilty, maximum fine imposed

Soh Chee Wen today pleaded guilty to two alternative charges for abetting Tiah Thee Kian in submitting false information to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) (now known as Bursa Malaysia).

The false reporting relates to reporting of the transaction involving 7,750,000 Omega Holdings Berhad (OHB) shares and 7,752,000 Omega Holdings Berhad A share (OHB – A share). Prosecution adduced facts which showed that some time between September and October 1997 Tiah and Soh had agreed to transact the said shares at RM6.45. However, TA Securities Sdn Bhd had reported these transactions to be at RM11.60 and RM9.55 per share respectively, involving only 4,310,000 OHB shares and 5,236,000 OHB-A shares.

Soh was charged on 14 May 2002 with two charges for using a scheme to defraud Omega Securities Sdn Bhd (OSSB) under section 87A(a) of the Securities Industry Act 1983 (SIA) through off-market transactions in respect of the sale of Uniphoenix Corporation Berhad shares.

On 5 September 2005, three alternative charges of abetting Tiah in the submission of false information to the KLSE under section 122B(a) of the SIA read together with section 122C(c) of the SIA was preferred against Soh in the alternative to the 1st principal charge of securities fraud.

Soh also admitted to the second principal charge of securities fraud under section 87A SIA in relation to the execution of contango transactions in the margin accounts of OSSB. This was taken into consideration by the Sessions Court in sentencing.

The Sessions Court sentenced Soh to the maximum fine of RM3 million for each of the charges of submitting false information to the KLSE, in default, 30 months imprisonment for each charge.

Soh’s counsel applied for the fine to be paid in three instalments within six months. The Court however rejected the application and ordered Soh to pay RM2 million of the fine by today with the balance RM4 million to be paid within the next two months. The bail sum of RM2 million and Soh’s passport were also ordered to be retained by the Court until the fine is fully settled.

With this conviction, Soh will be automatically disqualified from acting as a director of a company under section 130 of the Companies Act 1965 for a period of five years.