KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 22): ATTA Global Group Bhd confirmed yesterday that the suspension of trading of its shares was due to a police raid at its premises in the Prai Industrial Estate in Penang on Jan 16.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said the police raided part of the premises, tenanted by a third-party, in relation to a drug probe.

It added that the financial and operations of the group will be substantially affected, due to police investigation. 

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) ordered the suspension of trading in ATTA Global and Heng Huat Resources Group Bhd securities on Jan 16.

Subsequently, theedgemarkets.com reported the directive was issued after police seized trading accounts belonging to several top officials in the two companies. 

In an emailed statement in response to queries by theedgemarkets.com, an SC spokesperson said: "The directive to Bursa was issued pursuant to sections 26 and 28 of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, following the seizure of the trading accounts of several key individuals involved in these companies by Polis Diraja Malaysia." 

On Monday, ATTA Global revealed that its executive chairman Ooi Chieng Sim was remanded to assist in the investigation.

Due to the investigations, the authorities have frozen nine bank accounts under the company and four subsidiaries, securities maintained in accounts belonging to two subsidiaries, as well as Ooi’s personal bank and central depository system (CDS) accounts, and the personal bank accounts of executive director Ng Chin Nam.

Ooi, 51, is also the executive chairman of Heng Huat, while Ng, 50, is a non-executive director.

In a separate statement on Monday, Heng Huat noted Ooi’s remand and said it is not for matters pertaining to the company.

“Save for our independent non-executive Ng Chin Nam’s personal banking accounts and trading account and the bankers’ acceptance facility accounts totalling RM3.7 million of the two non-major wholly-owned subsidiaries, namely HK Gua Musang Sdn Bhd and HK Kitaran Sdn Bhd, none of the Heng Huat group and directors’ banking accounts, CDS accounts and assets were frozen,” Heng Huat said.

“The freezing of the facility account by the bank which provides the facility is due to the bank’s internal policy in view of the trading suspension of Heng Huat.

“We do not expect the remand to have any material financial or operational or management impact on the company, as the managing director, deputy managing director and executive directors of the company will continue business as usual with daily operations and management of the Heng Huat group,” it added.

In light of the incident, ATTA Global’s board has appointed its non-executive director Chiok Kian Chau as acting chairman in Ooi’s absence.

Additionally, the board has terminated the tenancy agreement with the involved tenant, effective on Monday. The tenancy agreement was signed on April 1, 2016.

It also formed a five-member committee led by Chiok to oversee operations and address issues arising from the investigations.

Chiok, an accountant aged 36 years, was appointed to the board of ATTA Global on Oct 18, 2019. He holds a 0.91% stake in the company.

Shares of ATTA Global last traded at 44.5 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM94.93 million. Heng Huat shares closed at 3.5 sen for a market capitalisation of RM11.88 million.

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