Ex-MMM deputy exec chairman found guilty of insider trading offence

PETALING JAYA: A five-year jail term and a fine of RM9 million for insider trading offences has been sentenced to former deputy executive chairman of Malaysian Merchant Marine Bhd (MMM) Datuk R. Ramesh by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

The charge came after a full trial with 24 witnesses having testified for both the prosecution and the defence.

According to reports, Ramesh 55, was found to have disposed of 10.2 million of MMM shares while in possession of material non-public information in relation to the proposed downgrade by the Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) on the credit rating of MMM’s Al-Bai Bithaman Ajil Islamic Debt Securities, which was made public by MARC on Feb 4, 2010.

He was also found to be in possession of material non-public information relating to the classification of MMM as a PN17 company. The disposals of MMM shares were made on Jan 11, 2010, Feb 19, 2010 and Feb 22, 2010.

Under section 188(2)(a) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, insider trading is an offence that carries a punishment of an imprisonment term not exceeding 10 years and a fine of not less than RM1 million.

Ramesh was convicted by Judge Azman Ahmad on all charges but had allowed a stay of the jail sentence, pending Ramesh’s appeal. However, the judge ordered for the total fine of RM9 million to be paid if Ramesh fails to serve the default jail term of nine years.

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