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Still short RM22.6 million, investors in failed agarwood scheme urge authorities to act

They say there have been no developments despite a court order for the police to investigate the case.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
3 minute read
Some of the promotional material given by Asia Plantation Capital to its investors.
Some of the promotional material given by Asia Plantation Capital to its investors.

The victims of a failed agarwood investment scheme in Thailand run by Asia Plantation Capital (APC) have called for a police investigation into the company, voicing disappointment in what they describe as a lack of commitment by the authorities to probing the project.

This is despite their success in obtaining a court order for the police to look into the case in line with Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

MalaysiaNow previously reported that a group of 180 individuals had experienced losses amounting to RM22.6 million after the project believed to have been launched by APC as early as 2011 did not materialise.

They claimed the company had breached its business agreement with them and accused it of giving excuses for its failure to make good on their capital and investments.

They later filed an application at the Kuala Lumpur Criminal Magistrate’s Court requesting an order for the police to investigate the case after it was classified as NFA (no further action).

Dr P Mahendran, a dentist who had invested in the APC scheme, said until this day, he had not received any updates although the lawyers representing the group had made an application to meet and discuss the matter with the police.

“There have been no developments with the police since we filed the application in court.

“If the police agreed to meet with us, I would go along with the lawyers. But as of now, there is nothing,” he told MalaysiaNow.

Arichandran Kandih, a committee member of the APC investors, estimates that 30 investors have made police reports throughout the Klang Valley over the past few years.

“Given that we have already taken this case to court, we submit the management of it to the lawyers to handle things with Bukit Aman or the other relevant authorities,” he said.

MalaysiaNow’s emails to the police and the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) for comment on the case have gone unanswered since March.

Checks of the Asia Plantation Capital Bhd (APCB) office, now known as Agarwood Originals Malaysia Bhd, at G Tower in Kuala Lumpur meanwhile found the premises closed.

A receptionist at the building told MalaysiaNow that the office on the 21st storey had been closed for a long time.

Subsequent checks at the Bangsar South address given in the SSM documents following the company’s change of name to Agarwood Originals found only a secretary company known as Tricor Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

MalaysiaNow was told that Tricor acts as APCB’s representative and that any business matters with the company would have to be conducted through Tricor.

Investors however said they had never heard of Tricor and that they had dealt directly with APCB about their investments.

Khoo Hock Kheng, an investor from Penang, said he was never told that APCB had changed its name to Agarwood Originals on Dec 23, 2021.

“This is new information to me,” the 48-year-old said.

“I never knew that APCB had a secretary company. I never heard of Tricor Services or had any dealings with it.”

Several other investors, including Mahendran, told MalaysiaNow the same thing.

They also said that the company’s name was never mentioned in the business contract they had signed.

MalaysiaNow was also told that the only way to contact APCB was through email while the official website was erased after an article about the company published last month.

Meanwhile, MalaysiaNow reached out to one Sonia Kalyan who, according to the business card shared with an investor in Johor, was APCB’s regional sales director.

When contacted by phone, though, the individual denied any connection with APCB, saying she had nothing to do with the company.

This was despite the assertion by the investor in Johor that he was still in contact with the woman regarding the management of his investments in an agarwood project in Johor run by APCB.

MalaysiaNow’s efforts to contact the woman again were unsuccessful.