ATTA Global gets into trouble with the cops yet again

IF there is one peculiarity that is synonymous ATTA Global Group Bhd, it has to be the tendency of the company to be on the wrong side of the law.

A year after the company suspended its executive chairman Ooi Chieng Sim after he was charged in court under the Dangerous Drugs Act, ATTA Global said its executive director Tan Kim Hee has been detained by Johor police to assist an investigation not related to the company or any of its subsidiaries and associate companies.

“He (Tan) has since been released on police bail and continues to assist in the investigation,” the company noted in a Bursa Malaysia filing yesterday (Jan 13).

“Further to the above, the board of directors of ATTA wishes to inform that there is no financial and operational impact to ATTA Group following the above-said investigation.”

To re-cap, Ooi was among eight men charged under Section 39 (B)(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 with trafficking in just under 5kg of methamphetamine at a warehouse of ATTA Global’s premises in Prai Industrial Estate, Penang.

Their arrest was reported to be part of what the police called “Ops Eagle Diamond” which is linked to another drug bust that involved more than 12 tonnes of cocaine worth RM2.4 bil – the largest drug haul in the country’s history – in September 2019.

Devanesan Evanson

Formerly SMPC Corp Bhd, ATTA Global is engaged in investment holding, letting of industrial and commercial assets and management consultancy.

Commenting on the latest incident, Minority Shareholders Watch Group (MSWG) CEO Devanesan Evanson told FocusM that information conveyed in ATTA Global’s Bursa filing “are only some of the factors that impact share price”.

“The company needs to manage perceptions of the company’s board-reputation especially given the previous instance of its chairman being charged for criminal offences,” he pointed out.

“Although, neither individuals (Tan and Ooi) has been found guilty, there is such a thing as the court of public opinion … and minority shareholders must be aware of this and its impact on share prices.”

At the close of the morning session, ATTA Global was down 1% or 1.96% at 50 sen with 230,800 shares traded, thus valuing the company at RM106 mil. – Jan 13, 2021

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