Tycoon Vincent Tan says Berjaya has ‘no interest whatsoever’ in Malaysian company whose executives were named hacking suspects

Tycoon Vincent Tan says Berjaya has ‘no interest whatsoever’ in Malaysian company whose executives were named hacking suspects

vincent tan
Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan. (Photo: AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Corporation Berhad Group of Companies has no interest in SEA Gamer Mall (SEAGM), a Perak-based company whose top executives are currently facing extradition proceedings to the United States on cybercrime allegations, said tycoon Vincent Tan. 

In a statement on Sep 18 (Friday), the Berjaya founder said his shareholding in SEAGM, a digital trading platform for gamers, games developers and publishers, was entirely his personal investment. 

“I wish to clarify that the Berjaya Corporation Berhad Group of Companies has no interest whatsoever in SEAGM.

"I also previously invested privately in another gaming and online platform MOL which I have since divested. My shareholding in SEAGM is entirely my personal investment which I may choose to divest when the time is right," he said. 

READ: US announces charges against Chinese, Malaysian hackers 

Mr Tan also stated that his daughters, Nerine and Chryseis Tan, had no involvement in running SEAGM, as they had been his nominees on the company’s board as non-executive directors.

They had resigned before the incident, he added. 

The tycoon, who owns the Cardiff City Football Club, said he was introduced to SEAGM in 2007 by a business associate and decided to invest through a private entity.

He had been a passive investor in SEAGM for the past 13 years, he said.

On Wednesday, the United States Justice Department announced charges against five Chinese nationals and two Malaysians who ran hacking operations around the globe for at least six years, allegedly perpetrating identity and technology theft, planting ransomware as well as spying on Hong Kong activists. 

The two executives were arrested on Monday in Perak, following an extradition request by the US authorities on Sep 3, the Malaysian police said in a press release on Thursday. 

“The Attorney-General’s Chambers agreed to the request,” said CID Director Commissioner Huzir Mohamed, adding that it was in line with both Malaysian legislation and international treaties. 

READ: APT41 - The China-based hacking operation spanning the world 

Both Malaysian suspects are currently remanded in the Sungai Buloh Prison in Selangor and have appointed legal counsel.

SEAGAM, which headquartered in Sitiawan, Perak, employs 172 staff members with offices in China, Thailand and Indonesia, and serves 2.7 million registered users worldwide, according to Mr Tan's Friday statement. 

He added that neither SEAMGM nor its two executives possessed the knowledge or tools for hacking.

The statement was issued following media reports linking him and his daughters with SEAGM. 

SEAGM, in a statement posted on its website on Thursday, said it had never engaged in any illegal activity, and that it would take "significant steps" to manage such claims. 

"All personal details of our customers remain safe and secure," it said, adding that it was engaging external professionals to enhance its system to protect the personal data of its customers.

Source: CNA/vt

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