KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan today claimed that his investment in Perak-based SEA Gamer Mall (SEAGM) was personal in nature and has no ties with his conglomerate Berjaya Corp Bhd.
Sea Gamer Mall’s two executives are facing extradition to the United States after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) charged them for their part in a global hacking operation over at least the past six years.
The two have been identified as Wong Ong Hua and Ling Yang Ching.
“I wish to clarify that the Berjaya Corporation Berhad Group of Companies has no interest whatsoever in SEAGM. My shareholding in SEAGM is entirely my personal investment which I may choose to divest when the time is right,” he said in a statement today.
Tan also said reports about his daughters, Nerine Tan and Chryseis Tan, involvement with SEAGM was inaccurate. He said they were non-executive directors who are no longer part of the company.
“At all times, my daughters had no involvement whatsoever in the running of the company. They were just my nominees on the board of SEAGM. Both Nerine and Chryseis have in fact already resigned before this incident,” he said.
The DoJ charged Wong, 46, and Ling, 32, with 23 counts of racketeering, conspiracy, identity theft, aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, money laundering, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and falsely registering domain names.
The US DoJ report stated that Wong and Ling were arrested on September 14 through cooperation with local enforcement authorities and are now facing extradition proceedings.
US Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen in a statement yesterday announced charges against five Chinese nationals and two Malaysians who ran global hacking operations to steal identities and video game technology, plant ransomware, and spy on Hong Kong activists.
He said the Chinese defendants targeted well over 100 victims worldwide in a variety of industries and sectors.
He added that the hackers used a sophisticated technique referred to as a ‘supply chain attack’, in which the Chinese hackers compromised software providers around the world, and modified the providers’ code to install backdoors that enabled further hacks against the software providers’ customers.
Tan however defended the executives saying he did not feel the two executives possessed the expertise or tools necessary for computer intrusions and hacking.
“The two SEAGM executives maintain their innocence and have appointed Malaysian legal counsel to represent them.
“I have been assured by the management that SEAGM will extend their full cooperation to the authorities and will continue with their mission to offer the safest and most secure services to all their millions of customers around the world,” Tan said.
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