Almost five years ago, Protasco announced what arguably is one of the most puzzling announcements I have seen of any Bursa listed company.
It was made during the XMas holiday as if to escape any attention, which (if intended) did indeed succeed, there was hardly anything written about the deal in the papers, while Bursa did not issue any query which is remarkable given the lack of details given.
I received an anonymous tip about it, and wrote "Protasco's Puzzling Purchase", and followed it up by about 30 other blog postings.
At the start of 2016 things finally seemed to move forward, I wrote "Former Protasco director charged with RM 68 Million fraud".
Now, after another two years, according to a recent article in The Star, "Ex-directors discharged from cheating case":
Two former company directors who were charged with cheating the board of directors, making a false declaration and criminal breach of trust involving more than RM80mil have been discharged from the case.
However, Datuk Ooi Kock Aun, 49, and Datuk Tey Por Yee, 40, have not been acquitted by the court.
The order to discharge but not acquit them was given by Kajang Sessions court judge Surita Budin after deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Ilmami Ahmad made a proposition to withdraw the case.
The DPP said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had reviewed all the evidence in totality before deciding to withdraw the case.
Ooi and Tey were accused of cheating Protasco Bhd’s board of directors and its officers by withholding information that he had direct involvement with PT Anglo Slavic Utama, a company incorporated in Indonesia.
The offence, under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, was allegedly committed at Protasco’s office at Level 2, Corporate Building Unipark Suria, Jalan Ikram-Uniten, Kajang, between November 2012 and Jan 30, 2014.
Both of them were also charged with making a false declaration to a Commissioner for Oaths in Jalan Metro Pudu, off Jalan Yew, on July 25, 2014.
Other papers have been very quiet about this discharge.
Where does this leave the minority investors of Protasco, which lost almost RM 100 Million in this case and a (possibly related) other investment in Indonesia?
Until now hardly any information has been provided, the most basic questions have been unanswered, for instance: who was the seller of the PT Anglo Slavic shares (in other words, the owner(s) of the BVI company)? And was he/she in any way connected to any of the then acting directors of Protasco?
It seems very unclear what the current status is, both from the regulators point of view or from Protasco's side. A very unsatisfactory situation all together.