Malaysiakini News

FGV expects forensic probe to complete by year-end

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

FGV Holdings Bhd is expected to complete its forensic audits and international investigations into six transactions and investments by year-end.

Chairperson Azhar Ahmad said currently, the company was awaiting legal advice on four of the completed investigations.

“We have to wait probably a couple of weeks for the lawyers’ advice, as the investigation not only involved local lawyers, but also those from the United Kingdom.

“As far as we are concerned, we can only take civil action instead of criminal action where we can claim for damages and losses,” he told reporters at a special media briefing in Kuala Lumpur today.

So far investigations into four of the six transactions and investments have been completed.

FGV, in a filing with Bursa Malaysia recently, said the completed investigation on four transactions were, namely the acquisition of Asia Plantations Ltd, FGV’s investment in FGV Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd, and the acquisition of two Troika condominiums located near the Petronas Twin Towers.

Additionally, the board has also undertaken internal investigations into six further matters that fall into three categories.

They were open credit lines, poor purchasing trading practices and poor palm oil sales that resulted in bad debts of about RM100 million; direct awards of procurement contracts in breach of best practices; and a critical shortage of workers between May 2016 and April 2018 that resulted in losses exceeding RM170 million during the period.

Meanwhile, Azhar said individuals involved in the investigations included board members and management employees.

“Whether you are the board members or management, you have the need or responsibility to exercise due care to carry out your fiduciary duty properly to protect the interest of FGV,” he said.

Asked if FGV chief executive officer Zakaria Arshad (photo) and former chairperson Mohd Isa Samad were among the individuals being probed, Azhar said: “It depends on the advice received by FGV. The board has responsibilities to manage the company. So, we need to take action, whether it involves Datuk Zakaria, that has not been decided,” he said, adding that the investigation would also involve past directors.

“Whoever that we can identify that are directly linked to the reason for the investigation, we will name (them) later,” he said.

Asked if Zakaria was aware of today’s media briefing as he was not seen at the event, Azhar said Zakaria was aware of today’s meeting.

“He is now attending a board meeting in Turkey with the chief financial officer (Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha),” he said.

Describing the investigations as “a painful process”, Azhar said what was important for the company now was to focus on its turnaround plan to improve FGV’s efficiency and financial performance.

--Bernama

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