Bank Negara Malaysia Raids Walton International Property Group (M) Sdn Bhd
Ref No: 03/09/04
Embargo: For immediate release
On 5 March 2009, Bank Negara Malaysia raided Walton International Property Group (M) Sdn Bhd under the Exchange Control Act (ECA) 1953. The raids were simultaneously conducted at the premises of the company in Kuala Lumpur (W. Persekutuan), Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Kuching ( Sarawak ) following complaints received from members of the public. Relevant documents of the company were seized for purpose of the investigation.
Members of the public are advised to be cautious of this type of land banking schemes promoted by the company. Any elements of deposit-taking activities and public offerings such as ‘interest schemes' or investment in real estates schemes (better known as ‘real estate investment trusts' - REITs) should be referred to the appropriate authorities such as Bank Negara Malaysia, Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia and Suruhanjaya Sekuriti. Members of the public are also advised to use lawful remittance channels when making payment or sending money overseas. A list of legitimate remittance channels can be referred at the Bank Negara Malaysia's website ( www.bnm.gov.my ) for either licensed banks or licensed non-bank remittance operators.
For further enquiries, members of the public can contact Bank Negara Malaysia at the following contact points:
Laman Informasi Nasihat dan Khidmat (BNMLINK)
(Walk-in Customer Service Centre)
Ground Floor, Block D
Jalan Dato' Onn
50480 Kuala Lumpur
BNMTELELINK (Customer Service Call Centre)
We understand from theedgemalaysia.com on 6 March 2009, that "documents were seized for the purposes of the investigation" under Exchange Control Act (ECA) 1953.
This raid operation DO NOT comes in as a surprise because other Land Banking like UK Land International (M) Sdn Bhd, Profitable Plots Sdn Bhd and Edgeworth Properties (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd was raided on 24 October 2008.
The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) raided the offices of the three companies on Oct 24 after months of surveillance and seized "relevant assets including ICT equipment and documents" to assist in its investigations.
"We decided to take action against these companies because of recent developments in Britain.
"One of these three companies’ parent company is facing winding-up action by the British authorities," said SSM deputy chief executive Rokiah Md Noor.
"We are concerned about the interests of their investors here, as well as investors who have put money into similar companies offering land banking schemes."
The above is a cautionary note to those who intend to invest in Walton or any landbanking scheme. Bank Negara won't simultaneously raid Walton 's Malaysian offices (Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching on 5 March 2009), if they don't have good reasons for doing so.
Also, you can't trust people in forums claiming to be very successful in landbanking investments. They could be landbanking sales people drumming up support for their business.
In any case, with the credit crisis in the USA and elsewhere, there is no reason for people to buy raw land (land between two big cities) from Walton or any other landbanks when you can get a great piece of US property in the city or suburb for as little as US$30,000 or less.
Then there are people who say that if a company has been around for a long time, it cannot be a scam. Go and tell that to investors of Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme. He set up his investment vehicle , Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960 and fooled some of the smartest financial experts (hedge funds) in the US, Switzerland, Japan etc. Worst still, he did it right under the supervisory eyes and noses of the US SEC Regulators. The Sanford alleged ponzi scheme goes as far back as 2001.
Furthermore, even big and "solid" legit companies can fail, just like Lehman Bros., AIG, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual. Then, there was the fire sale vs bankruptcy situation with Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, JP Morgan (and problems within Citibank and Goldman Sachs) which caused investors to lose a big chunk of their invested funds.
So there is no such thing as a safe "sure thing" investment. Higher returns is always there to cover higher risk. So don't go crying to the government / regulators if something goes wrong. Even for regulated investments, the government is not going to cover your losses as those who invested in Lehman minibonds via DBS, UOB etc will tell you. Landbanking is not a regulated industry. So be warned.
This is what Walton promises you when you attend one of their presentations. What they don't tell you is that: "Past performance is no guarantee of future returns":