uFun Club Bangkok Marina & Spa units seized
In yet another PR disaster for uFun Club, new today that Thai police have seized a hundred Bangkok Marina units the scheme’s operators had previously invested in.
The $5 million investment was made so that uFun Club affiliates had leverage in professing the legitimacy of the scheme through association with Bina Puri, the developer building the resort.
Bina Puri are one of the largest construction firms in Malaysia, with the Bangkok Marina being built by a Thai subsidiary.
Naturally Bina Puri didn’t take too well to having a $1.17 billion dollar Ponzi scheme abuse their name, so they “warned” uFun Club to cease using it in investment promotions.
uFun Club continued to profess legitimacy through Bina Puri, resulting in the construction firm then filing a complaint with police. In light of the arrest of several uFun Club executives, direct legal action has also been threatened.
The latest on the Bina Puri uFun Club relationship?
THE CONSUMER Protection Police Division (CPPD) yesterday impounded 100 housing units worth Bt165 million that UFUN Store, which is in the centre of pyramid-scheme allegations, had allegedly bought at the Bangkok Marina Resort & Spa Project Project in Samut Prakan’s Bang Bo district.
Assistant national police chief Lt-General Suwira Songmetta, who is leading the investigation, accompanied CPPD deputy chief Pol Colonel Angkul Klaikleung to the site yesterday to inspect and impound the 100 units, which are still under construction.
Suwira said this operation stemmed from a search at the head office of Bina Puri (Thailand) Co Ltd on Wednesday in Bangkok’s Bang Na area, which confirmed UFUN’s purchase of property.
The units have been impounded so the Anti-Money-Laundering Office (AMLO) can later auction them and compensate the affected persons, he said.
So much for that…
Suwira also thanked members of the project for cooperating with police and pointed out that neither the owner nor executives of Bangkok Marina were involved in this case.
He added that investigators had learned that UFUN had used the Bangkok Marina brand for commercial gains without their consent.
Since the owner of Bangkok Marina is willing to return the money that UFUN had paid for the units, police will first impound the properties, Suwira said.
He added that Bangkok Marina was already discussing this option with its mother company, Bina Puri, in Malaysia. The other option would be for AMLO to auction the 100 units once construction has been completed.
Meanwhile if you’re wondering what’s happening with the police investigation,
National police chief Pol General Somyos Pumpanmuang said yesterday that he had confidence in the work and evidence-gathering efforts made by the team of investigators.
“I’m confident in Lt-General Suwira and the team says they have enough evidence of the company’s wrongdoing to prosecute them,” he said, adding that Suwira had been gathering information since late last year.
In addition to uFun Club’s fraudulent Ponzi scheme business model, evidence such as that provided by investors themselves should be enough to formally charge uFun Club.
An investor told police
he had invested Bt17,500 with the firm last October at the invitation of a friend and was told he did not have to do anything, but would get a 10-per-cent interest in U-tokens.
However, he said, when he tried to withdraw his investment after not getting anything for a whole month, the company would not let him, saying he had to find more members to earn profits.
Seeing as without newly invested funds uFun Club collapses, that this is what they’re telling people who ask for refunds is hardly surprising.
One of the ongoing abnormalities surrounding the uFun Club shutdown in Thailand has been the lack of a response from neighbouring Malaysia.
Currently where the ringleaders of uFun Club are believed to be hiding, the lack of a response from Malaysia’s regulators has been mind-boggling.
One would expect some sort of response from the country harboring the owners of the second largest MLM Ponzi scheme in history, yet the silence is inexplicably deafening.
The only hint of action we’ve seen thus far was the cancellation of a press-release a few days ago, purportedly due to “concerns” by Malaysian authorities.
What those concerns were was never clarified.
Malaysian media have also been quiet on the issue, with articles only now starting to appear. But even then, all they’re doing is pretty much regurgitating what has been reported in Thailand.
The Malaysian media are in the best position for direct access to uFun Club’s fugitive management, why is nothing being reported?
Worse still, uFun Club management are using regulatory inaction in Malaysia to further mislead their investors.
The latest ruse professes a signing of agreement event set to take place on the 26th of April.
Fresh from the Bina Puri controversy, uFun Club management are claiming to be on the verge of laundering more funds through Malaysia’s construction industry.
How much is at stake has not been made public yet, but uFun Club investors are claiming thousands of affiliates are going to attend the Gateway Klang shopping mall agreement signing this Sunday.
Nobody seems to have asked the developer of Gateway Klang how they feel about the Bina Puri debacle and subsequent fallout.
Meanwhile the question of whether uFun Club management will be in attendance on Sunday lingers unanswered. Most of them have warrants out for their arrest in Thailand, marking them as fugitives on the run.
Will Malaysian regulators put a stop to one of the biggest MLM frauds we’ve seen yet? Stay tuned…
Update 24th April 2015 – What on Earth is going on in Malaysia???
Police are still waiting for their Thai counterparts to contact them on investigations into a Malaysian businessman over alleged cheating cases involving more than 100,000 victims worldwide.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigations Department deputy director (intelligence and operations) Senior Asst Comm Datuk Jalil Hassan said Thai police had yet to contact his department for assistance in the case.
When contacted, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said there were four local complaints against a company also called UFun.
He said the complaints were about deposit-taking.
“We are investigating although there is no record of the company with us.
“Since the complaints were about deposit-taking, we could be looking at a company that is operating a pyramid scheme,” he said.
Bank Negara Malaysia, meanwhile, said a company listed as UFun Club had been placed on its Financial Consumer Alert (FCA) list of companies and websites that were not authorised or approved under the laws and regula-tions administered by the central bank.
UFun Club was categorised as being involved in and running unlicensed activities, and was blacklisted on July 25, 2014.
However, it cannot be ascertained if UFun Club is related to UFun in Thailand, said to be run by Tay.
So unless someone spoon-feeds information to Malaysian authorities, they are evidently incapable of launching an investigation of their own.
And in doing so, permit the perpetrators of a $1.17 billion dollar Ponzi scheme run amok right under their noses.
A victim, who had invested 17,500 baht (RM1,960) with the company in October last year, claimed that he was told that a 10% interest would be paid in UTokens on his investment.
He alleged that he did not receive the reward after a month and approached the company to withdraw his investment but his request was denied.
“The company claimed that money I invested was capital and I had to find more members to earn profits. Something wasn’t right, I think I might have been duped so I am filing a police complaint,” he said.
The police seized 100 housing units belonging to UFun yesterday from a Thai subsidiary of a major Malaysia-based construction company. The construction company had earlier tried to distance itself from UFun
Read more here: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/04/24/159-lodge-report-against-Malaysian-businessmans-firm/
Thai police have now sought cooperation from Malaysian Interpol to help arrest three Malaysian executives of UFun Store for frauds. One of them is Dato Daniel or Tay Kim Leng or in Thai name as Arthit Pankaew.
The police also planned to arrest 20 more people who are not the company executives but act as networks for the business.
Source: Thai PBS
the thai police should make a written request to the malaysian interpol, and release the letter to the press.
otherwise we’ll just have another round of – – we [malyasian regulators] have not yet been contacted by the thai police for help. we don’t know what the heck is going on! where is thailand?
i thought the media is always looking for a ‘scoop’.
just one malaysian media journalist has to knock at the gateway klang office door, and ask them if they have a partnership signing with ufun on sunday the 26th.
if thousands of people are expected to present themselves for the event, how can the malaysian media not be more interested in covering it?
BTW, yesterday ufun members were saying 5000 people would be attending the gateway klang event. today they are down to 2000. by sunday it may be down to a few hundred people, who had nothing better to do on a sunday evening.
maybe oz should do a write up on the various paper companies ufun holding has set up, like ufun club, ufun store, UBT mall, utoken etc, so that ‘authorities’ which are struggling to make sense of it, can get some help!
while ufun member FB pages are refusing to report the seizing of the binapuri ufun units, this is the current sentiment of members as reflected in this statement of jason bangayan, a top ufun recruiter from philippines :
rodney burton, top US recruiter for ufun, is currently on his way to kuala lumpur to attend the gateway klang signing event.
i wonder WHO from ufun management is going to physically sign this contract, if there is ANY truth to this deal at all?
i thought ufun’s dato danial tay, asked leaders to stay underground, in his latest video. why then is rodney burton sticking his neck out in faraway malaysia?
BTW ufun is not enough to quench rodney burtons money thirst. he’s actively pushing DS domination and jetbox alongside. multitasking ponzi king!
Nooooooooo. If they can’t do it in their native languages what chance do I stand?
Ponzi or Pyramid schemes some common operation features are:
1. Company luxury office
2. Executives travel in luxury name car
3. Public showing of big bundle dollar notes
4. Token given for recruiting new members
5. Frequent weekly conference or seminar
6. Members using social media to promote product.
in order to let people believes the company strength & high returns plus the “instant rich” concept to induce greedy people.
7. Fail to display the Board of directors on promotional brochures either printed or internet.
8. Fail to display previous financial track records as endorsed by the authorities.
Without new recruitment there will be less money in-flow to Ufun. Making matter worsen for Ufun: office closed, bank accounts freezed, properties confiscated & more than half of the key executives jailed.
With operation stopped, sooner than expected the members will watch the quick & painful downfall/collapse of the pyramid that the help to build in a year plus.
The leader will divert the blame to the authorities for closing their so called legit Pyramid business. Knowing that going to happen the authorities will quickly conclude the case & charge the perpetrators in court.
With legit complaints & evidences held, the authorities will win this case. The perpetrators will use whatever avenue legally available to prolong the case.
As such this court battle will be the longest painful waiting for the so-called victims (greedy investors).
The Bangkok Marina Resort & Spa today agreed to turn over to police 112.4 million baht funnelled through the alleged Ufun Store pyramid scheme to buy 100 townhouses at the under-construction Samut Prakan development.
Matichon reported Friday that the international online retailer had paid 95 million baht in deposits for the 100 units priced at 1.65 million each. It also had taken a 29% stake in the Bangkok Marine project worth 17.4 million baht.
Read more here: bangkokpost.com/news/general/540427/100-ufun-townhouses-seized
More importantly, I think, is the fact news reports out of Thailand about the UFun closures and arrest warrants appear on the front page of any search using the term “UFun” which means, there will not only be less capital inflow, as you point out, but also fewer average, “non HYIP ponzi players” with new money joining UFun
No fresh outside “newbie” money spells disaster for any ponzi fraud, which simply cannot survive on the income derived from serial HYIP ponzi players.
That’s why the perps are encouraging existing members to pump MORE money into the scheme.
Just a couple observations:
1) Now26.tv (Part of NationGroup, i.e. NationMultimedia, Thailand) has two reports on UFUN, and they’re bilingual English/Thai
2) Listened to the Tay 2 minute video statement. Interesting he chose to do it in Chinese. He’s a decent Mandarin speaker and has a bit of “Asian Accent” even when speaking Mandarin, and has either some decent Chinese education or a good speechwriter.
3) Malaysia hadn’t started panicking yet. Sources indicate that some bigshot Malaysia politicians may have their sons or relatives holding high positions in UFUN or sister companies. Police may be treating it with kid’s gloves for now.
tay looked like he was reading a prepared speech. his body language was very stiff and artificial. he looked downright nervous.
i think tay is not the top mastermind, he may have bosses overseeing his performance?
you may have hit the nail on its head, chang.
political patronage may be the cause of malaysia’s strange hands off attitude towards ufun.
in india, the biggest scam of all time ie saradha scam, has deep links with the political party in power in the state. that’s why investigations are all low level, and don’t reach the real perpetrators.
(Ozedit: link removed) is showing ‘This account has been suspended’
is this a recent happening, or this some old unused website of utoken?
@anjali As far as I can tell that’s an affiliate website. Seems to have been suspended because it exceeded it’s monthly site bandwidth.
whoa , oz i think ‘now26 TV’ is reading your blog! today they have hauled in a malaysian journalist from ‘the star’ malaysia, and put her on the mat over malaysia’s non response to ufun.
she openly shares that a relative of a malaysian politician, may be the executive director of one of ufuns sister companies, and this makes the matter very ‘sensitive’ for malaysian police!!!
I think you and me saw that broadcast at roughly the same time, I was putting together a writeup when you commented – https://behindmlm.com/companies/ufun-club/malaysian-political-scandal-delaying-ufun-club-investigation/
Glad someone is addressing the issue. The Malaysian media’s coverage and regulatory action against the second biggest MLM Ponzi scheme of all time has been appalling.