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Malaysia anti-graft agency's probe into Jawala unit still ongoing

MALAYSIA timber firm Jawala Inc said that the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) regarding the suspension of its subsidiary Jawala Plantation Industries’ (JPI) bank accounts with CIMB and Public Bank Berhad, is still ongoing.

The Catalist-listed company said, in an update to the Singapore Exchange, that it has yet to receive any formal notification or otherwise from the MACC or any other regulatory authority, and that it would continue to give full cooperation and assist in the investigation. 

The company also said that JPI’s business is “operating as usual” since the suspension of the bank accounts, and Jawala's directors are also not aware of any investigation or proceedings pending or threatened against JPI, its directors and Jawala’s directors.

Last December, Jawala said in a regulatory filing that it was informed by CIMB Bank that JPI’s current account with CIMB may be allowed to be operated for transactions without any limits, save for a sum of about RM4.4 million (S$1.4 million) in the current account, and a sum of about RM11 million in JPI's fixed deposit account, which are to remain frozen. JPI's current account and fixed deposit account were initially frozen by CIMB as a result of a freezing order issued by the MACC on Nov 5, 2018.

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Similarly, Jawala said at the time that it had yet to receive any formal notification from the MACC or any other regulatory authority with regards to the suspension of JPI's bank accounts with CIMB and Public Bank Berhad.

In November, Jawala voluntarily suspended the trading of its shares as it required more time to seek clarification from the authorities and regulators in Malaysia in relation to the suspension of its subsidiary's main bank accounts.