Authorities raid virtual money mall in Penang

Two government officials stand guard outside the office while the raid is ongoing inside. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
Two government officials stand guard outside the office while the raid is ongoing inside. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, May 29 — A team of government officials have raided M Mall O2O along Jalan Datuk Keramat here, a shopping mall that uses virtual money as its mode of payment.

The team consisting of police officers, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) officials, Companies Commission of Malaysia officers, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry officers arrived at the MBI Group’s office at around noon today.

The company operates the M Mall, which allows shoppers to trade using virtual coins in a financial scheme under the same company.

The raiding team did not speak to the media waiting outside the MBI Group’s office on the fifth floor of the complex.

As at 3pm, the raiding team are still inside the office with only two officials standing outside to stop anyone from entering the office.

Reporters and photographers were stopped from entering and at about 2.45pm, and were told to leave by the security personnel of the complex.

The raid was conducted by about 30 officers who left the office at about 5.35pm with a trolley full of boxes, believed to contain documents.

The officials refused to speak to the media while MBI Group top management could not be contacted for comments.

Two companies linked to MBI Group, its so-called “subsidiaries” MBI International Sdn Bhd and Mface International Sdn Bhd, were blacklisted by BNM on May 22.

The central bank has a financial consumer alert list in which companies that are suspects of not adhering to relevant laws and regulations will be listed.

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