High Court freezes assets of defendants in Bank Pembangunan’s suit over dubious RM400m loan

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — The High Court here today granted Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd (BPMB) an ex-parte Mareva injunction against 23 out of 27 defendants as part of a civil suit over a RM400 million loan granted to Aries Telecoms (M) Bhd that it claimed was done illegally.

The Edge Markets reported that Justice Atan Mustaffa Yussof Ahmad had granted the injunction to freeze the assets of the 23 defendants, among them the bank’s former president and group managing director (MD) Datuk Mohd Zafer Mohd Hashim.

Other defendants subjected to the injunction included Aries' alleged shadow director Shailen Popatlal, former Aries director Roslina Ibrahim, Paneagle Sdn Bhd director Abdul Wahid Abdul Ghani, Open Fibre Sdn Bhd director Mohd Radzi Mohamed and Orient Telecoms Sdn Bhd and its directors Mustafa Ali Zaminali Sayed, Muhammad Shazhakim Shazarul Hisham and Shaza Arina Shazarul Hisham.

The latter two were reported to be Roslina's son and daughter.

Silver Ridge Sdn Bhd and its director Wong Chee Keong, BVS Trinity Sdn Bhd and its director Abd Hadi Abd Majid, and Zavarco plc and its director Tunku Mazlina Tunku Abd Aziz were also named, The Edge Markets reported, citing court filings.

Firms that were named as defendants are only allowed to use a sum not exceeding RM20,000 per month for legal advice and representation, and a “reasonable sum” for the ordinary and proper course of business of these parties.

Meanwhile, Zafer and others are allowed a sum not exceeding RM10,000 per month for ordinary living expenses and legal advice and representation.

The order will remain in force throughout the proceedings.

BPMB is accusing the 27 defendants of conspiring and using unlawful means to not only defraud the bank, but concealing such fraud and its proceeds, several newspapers reported citing court filings.

The loan was disbursed to Aries without fulfilling necessary conditions, the bank claimed.

BPMB also alleged that the money which was meant to be used for the fibre optic project was misused, and that the funds were "syphoned and/or unjustifiably transferred” to other entities including Paneagle Holdings Bhd, BVS Trinity Sdn Bhd, VCB Malaysia Bhd, Orient Telecoms Sdn Bhd and Primawin Ltd.

The RM400 million loan approval was granted based on the appointment of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (Huawei China) as turnkey contractor to build, operate and maintain the network for the project.

However, Huawei China was subsequently replaced by Paneagle Holdings without the full knowledge, consent or approval of BPMB.

Despite these corporate changes, The Edge Markets reported that the loan was still disbursed in two tranches of RM200 million each to Aries (then known as V Telecoms Bhd) as Zafer had allegedly approved two separate waivers of certain conditions required.

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