Tycoon Vincent Tan is seeking to distance his daughters from the controversy surrounding online game store SEA Gamer Mall Sdn Bhd (SEAGM), after two of the company's top executives were charged over an international hacking scandal.
However, he has come to the defence of SEAGM chief executive officer Wong Ong Hua and chief product officer Ling Yang Ching, saying that they did not have the skills to pull off the crimes they are accused of.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has slapped Wong and Ling with 23 charges including for conspiring with hackers from China to “profit from computer intrusions” targeting computer game firms in the US, France, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
In a statement today, Tan (above) said his daughters, Nerine and Chryseis Tan, were only nominal directors, and had quit the company before the incident.
“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.
SEAGM's Companies Commission (CCM) file still lists the sisters as directors. The document contains a summary of the company's 2019 financial report which was tabled on June 30 this year.
Meanwhile, regarding Wong and Ling, Tan said: "Neither SEAGM nor the two executives possess the expertise or tools in computer intrusions and hacking.
"The two SEAGM executives maintain their innocence and have appointed Malaysian legal counsel to represent them," he added.
Tan said he had been a passive investor in the company for 13 years, and that he "may choose to divest when the time is right".
His company, Berjaya Group, does not have any interest in the gaming firm, he said.
SEAGM's website is an online store selling “top-up cards” for popular online games, digital gift cards and prepaid mobile credits.
On its website, it claims to have one million registered users and 350,000 active users monthly.
Company records show it made RM386.4 million in revenue and RM11.6 million in profit in 2019.
According to the DOJ, hackers had conspired with Wong and Ling to “steal and launder money” through the video game industry.
The duo have been arrested and are undergoing the extradition process to face charges in the US.