Sunday 19 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 25): The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) reviewed 76 suspected breaches of securities law in 2023, 41% of which were related to disclosure breaches, securities fraud and unlicensed activities.

These suspected breaches were found based on the SC’s active surveillance, supervision, and complaints received, the capital market regulator said in its annual report for 2023 released on Monday.

Of the 76 cases, 43 of them were reviewed for enforcement actions, which led to the commencement of 19 investigations — up from 13 in 2022 — and the raiding of 10 locations, compared with just two in the previous year.

Of the 76 cases, only one was related to suspected insider trading, while two were related to suspected market manipulations.

“Apart from the raids conducted at 10 locations in 2023, the SC deploys various methods and tools in its evidence gathering to establish the securities law breaches being investigated. Generally, the SC receives good co-operation from persons involved in its investigation,” it said.

“The SC’s investigation efforts remain focused on cases related to offences involving unlicensed activities, securities fraud and disclosure breaches, which constitutes more than 50% of the investigation commenced in 2023,” it said.

As at end-2023, the number of active investigations stood at 55, up from 49 in 2022.

“The SC’s investigation process ensures that investigation activities are conducted thoroughly, objectively, and effectively following the due process,” the SC said.

In addition to its ongoing criminal enforcement efforts, which are undertaken with the public prosecutor’s consent, the regulator said it initiated 15 civil actions, including the issuance of letters of demand, in 2023.

Apart from initiating criminal or civil actions, the SC also leverages its statutory powers for administrative actions, which it said provides a full spectrum of sanctions and remedies against the persons in breach.

Disgorgement and civil penalties obtained amounted to RM18.6 million in 2023

A total of RM18.6 million worth of total disgorgement and civil penalties were obtained by the SC in 2023, which it said "will be utilised in accordance to the law, which includes to compensate aggrieved investors".

“The SC remains committed to protecting investors. Following the outcome of the SC’s successful civil suits and regulatory settlements entered, the SC has restituted 119 investors in 2023 in the amount of RM301,208. Additionally, a further RM4,586,915.35 has been earmarked for restitution involving 658 investors,” it added.

In 2022, a total of RM1.53 million was restituted to 284 investors.

Edited ByTan Choe Choe
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