Another round of drama at FGV?

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

PALM giant FGV Holdings Bhd has cast a spotlight onto itself once again after it was reported that the company had filed a police case against two of its former top executives for alleged breach of trust.

The report, sighted by an online news portal, said its former CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad and ex-CFO Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha had authorised provision of credit facilities to FGV unit Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd’s clients without the evaluation, collateral or security required from the letter of credit.

It said both Zakaria and Ahmad Tifli had failed to uphold the interest of the company and had acted carelessly and very suspiciously.

FGV chief auditor Zalily Mohamed Zaman Khan had filed the criminal complaint. She said the company is now saddled with overdue payments of about RM75 million.

These include outstanding debts from Chengdu Azonda International Trading Co Ltd, Safitex General Trading LLC, Quantum Orient Holdings Sdn Bhd, Intisari Mulia International Inc, Matrix Integrated Services Sdn Bhd and RDC International Pte Ltd.

Zakaria, who resigned as FGV group president and CEO in 2018 after being suspended twice in the wake of an internal investigation, has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement yesterday, Zakaria said the cases against him had been thoroughly investigated by FGV. He said all claims against him had been dropped after the probe was concluded.

“I leave it to God. I hope all parties can accept the decision by the police. I am confident that the police are professional, fair and independent of any pressure exerted externally,” he said.

Zakaria, however, told The Malaysian Reserve that he was not aware whether the police report had been filed.

FGV did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it had filed the report.

The report allegedly stated Zakaria’s faults included criminal breach of trust involving advertising and promotion funds worth US$1 million (RM4.28 million) to Chengdu Azonda and the giving of free samples worth RM421,704 without basis to the same company. A police report on this matter was lodged in August last year.

The recent criminal filing also claimed that Ahmad Tifli had failed to protect the interests of Delima in its transactions with Chengdu Azonda, Safitex, Quantum, Matrix and RDC.

“He ignored the letter of credit’s requirements set under FGV’s financial group policy for the sale of exports to them. He also approved open credit allocations (without collateral or security) to Chengdu Azonda although no credit evaluation assessments were done on Chengdu Azonda,” Zalily reportedly said.

The previous bout of allegations, which involved government intervention and raids by anti-graft officials, lasted over four months.

While Zakaria and Ahmad Tifli were handed a temporary reprieve prior to them stepping down, former FGV chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad was forced to relinquish his position and other positions in the Federal Land Development Authority.