Asia Media's Ricky Wong and mother apply to set aside court order freezing RM169m in assets

Asia Media's Ricky Wong and mother apply to set aside court order freezing RM169m in assets
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 15): Asia Media Group Bhd founder Datuk Ricky Wong Shee Kai, who is still at large, his company Wong SK Holdings Sdn Bhd and Wong's mother Teh Sew Wan want to set aside the ex parte injunction granted by the High Court on May 8 that prohibits them from dealing with assets and properties worth RM169,223,500.

Lawyer Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal for Wong SK Holdings and Wong, along with Nicholas Kow and Emile Ezra Hussain for Teh, informed Judicial Commissioner Anand Ponnudurai of their intention to set aside the court order when the case came up today.

The inter parte injunction was initially fixed for hearing today, but following the application to set aside the court order and an affidavit filed by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) against the three of them yesterday, the matter has been reverted to case management.

Thus, Anand fixed Aug 19 and Sept 21 to hear the inter parte injunction and application to set the ex parte injunction aside.

It was previously reported on May 10 that the SC was granted an ex parte injunction to freeze the assets of Wong, Wong SK and Teh worth RM169,223,500 in relation to securities fraud offences involving Bright Packaging Industry Bhd.

According to stock exchange filings, Wong holds a 32.94% stake in Bright Packaging Industry through Wong SK Holdings.

In April, the SC said it had sought help from Interpol and the public to track down Wong, 38, over alleged money laundering.

At the time, the SC said Wong was wanted in connection with offences under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA).

A warrant of arrest was issued against Wong by the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court last Dec 29, after he had failed to appear before the SC's investigating officer as required under Section 32(3)(a) of AMLATFPUAA.

"If found to be in breach of Section 32(3)(a) of AMLATFPUAA, Wong will, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM3 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both, under Section 32(8) of the same act," the SC said then.

Asia Media fell into Practice Note 17 status in October last year, as its shareholders' equity on a consolidated basis of less than RM40 million was 25% or less of its issued capital.

Wong, formerly the chief executive officer of Asia Media, was removed from his post in an extraordinary general meeting on July 25, 2019.

SC mulls contempt proceedings over purported breach of injunction

Meanwhile, SC counsel Datuk Lim Chee Wee informed Anand today that his client may initiate contempt proceedings against Wong.

This follows allegations of Wong breaching the injunction, which were laid out in an affidavit filed by an SC investigating officer (IO) yesterday.

A search on the case files and affidavit by IO Yavin Ong Meng Loong revealed that the commission had received information from the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission that Spade Assets Ltd, a company formed there in 2015 and whose sole shareholder is Wong, had purportedly transferred his shares to his brother David Wong Shee Hau.

"There was a recent change in the beneficial ownership of Spade Assets where Ricky Wong is replaced with David Wong. This is notably after the injunction order served on Ricky Wong on May 11," said Ong in the affidavit.

Lim told the court that the SC is also trying to get further details from the Luxembourg authorities regarding the alleged transfer of ownership.

Ong claimed that Spade Assets kept over €4 million in an account at Banque Havilland in Luxembourg.

Harpal, who is counsel for Wong SK Holdings, said they have obtained the affidavit, which was only filed yesterday, and will need to reply before the court decides.