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Monday, July 11, 2016

Falling prey to investment schemes of RM150,000

PETALING JAYA - It is known as the “Green City” for its tropical foliage but Malaysians heading there daily are captivated by promises of riches that could come their way.

Dozens of Malaysians are being taken every day by syndicates on all-expense-paid trips to Nanning, a southern city in China near the Vietnam border, said MCA Public Services and Complaints chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong.

These “investors”, he said, were hoping to cash in on a supposed property boom there.

“Sadly, greed is their downfall. Many of them fall prey to so-called Nanning investment schemes,” he said, adding that he had received more than a dozen complaints where the victims felt like “they were paying for something but got nothing” in return.

These investment schemes came under the spotlight especially in the Chinese press when three Malay­sians died after a gas leak at an apartment in Nanning last year.

Apparently, they had gone there on a business trip under the Nanning investment scheme.

Despite the negative press, Chong found that there were still many people keen on investing in the schemes.

“Even a friend of mine asked me to join him on his trip,” he said.

Chong, who spoke with a property tycoon here, said the city was growing rapidly with plenty of business opportunities.

“If you want to buy property there, by all means, please do so. But why do you have to go through multi-level marketing?” Chong asked.

He cautioned that it was usually the pioneers of pyramid schemes who earned the profits.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who runs a service centre in Kuala Lumpur, has received about 20 complaints from victims in the past two years.

“They were usually impressed after visiting the sites and attending motivational talks there. They paid between RM80,000 and RM150,000 to become members and given ‘shares’ or ‘units’ in return, thinking they were legitimate,” he said.

However, these “investors” soon found out they could not recoup their capital unless they recruit more members to join the scheme, he said.

“The syndicate would tell them that they would be rich only by recruiting more members,” said Lim.

When they failed to get their money back, many of these “investors” approached Lim for help.

“No one is willing to make a police report.

“Some are still hoping they can get their money back. Others are just too embarrassed because not even their spouses know that they have used up their savings on the ‘investment’,” he said.

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