Three-A chairman charged with insider trading after acquiring company’s shares

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 13): The Securities Commission (SC) has charged two individuals, including Three-A Resources Bhd chairman Datuk Mohd Nor Abdul Wahid, with insider trading in relation to 3A’s joint venture with Singapore-listed Wilmar International Ltd in 2009. 

Mohd Nor, 64, is accused of acquiring 500,000 3A shares through Azuzay Zamani's central depository system (CDS) account, while in possession of non-public information relating to the joint venture. 

Mohd Nor, who is also a director in the group, allegedly committed the offence on Oct 5, 2009 — the same day 3A announced to Bursa Malaysia that Wilmar will acquire a 17% stake in the company via a RM46.2 million private placement at 75 sen per share. 

Nor was charged under section 188(2)(a) of the Capital Markets and Services Act (CMSA) 2007. If found guilty, he faces a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine not exceeding RM1 million. 

Also charged was Dr Azuzay Zamani, 43, for allegedly permitting Nor to acquire the shares through his CDS account under OSK Investment Bank Bhd. 

Azuzay was charged under section 29A of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1992. If found guilty, he could face a maximum five-year jail term, a fine of up to RM1 million, or both.
The charges against Mohd Nor was read out before Sessions Court judge Mahazan Mat Taib, while Azuzay was charged before Sessions Court judge Datuk Habibah Mohd Yusof.

Both the accused claimed trial to the respective charges preferred against them, the spokesperson said, adding they were granted bail of RM50,000 each and made to surrender their passports. 

The cases are the second batch of insider trading counts relating to the 2009 3A-Wilmar joint venture. On Oct 25 last year, the SC charged 3A founder Fang Chew Ham and five others, also for insider trading of 3A shares, after having non-public information relating to the corporate exercise.