KUALA LUMPUR – Low Thiam Hock aka Repco Low, the former executive chairman of Repco Holdings Bhd was sentenced to five years jail and fined RM5 million by the Sessions Court today for share market manipulation.
Sessions Court Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah said Low, 53, is liable to another five years’ jail term if he fails to pay the RM5 million fine.
However, he allowed a stay in the sentence execution, despite objection of DPP Roz Mawar Rozain, pending appeal by the defence counsel earlier today.
Thus, Mat Ghani fixed RM1 million in bail in addition to the RM300,000 initial bail after the prosecution urged the court to increase bail.
Earlier defence counsel Edmund Bon had appealed to be allowed for the fine to be paid in at least 30 instalments.
Roz, who acted for the Securities Commission Malaysia, had urged the court to exercise its discretion in allowing instalment payment but had objected to a stay in execution due to the nature of the crime committed.
The Sessions Court had on Jan 11 found Low guilty of market manipulation involving Repco’s shares when the market was in a downturn 19 years ago.
It was reported that Mat Ghani ruled that the defendant had failed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case and his defence only amounted to a bare denial and an afterthought, according to a statement by the SC.
The judge was satisfied that Low, who had acquired 227,000 units of Repco’s shares on Dec 3, 1997, had created a misleading appearance to the company’s share price.
Low was charged under Section 84(1) of the Securities Industry Act 1983 (SIA) on Sept 18, 1999.
He was charged for allegedly instructing a representative of Sime Securities, which was then an associate company of conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd, to buy Repco’s shares, by taking up any offer price for Repco’s shares for sale on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, which is now known as Bursa Malaysia.
Low committed the offence at Sime Securities, 21st floor, Bangunan Sime Bank, 4, Jalan Sultan Sulaiman, between 11am and 5pm on Dec 3, 1997.
The share price went up to RM108.50 to close at RM113 that day despite the share market dropping that year. – MyNewsHub/The Sun