Japanese JTrust Plans to Buy Major Holding in ANZ Royal Bank Halted by Cambodian Arrest Warrants

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Japanese JTrust Plans to Buy Major Holding in ANZ Royal Bank Halted by Cambodian Arrest Warrants

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:54 am

Japanese Conglomerate’s Officials Threatened With Cambodia Arrests
April 12, 2019
By: John Berthelsen

A three-year corporate squabble between the Tokyo-based financial conglomerate J Trust Pte Ltd. and onetime Thai stock exchange darling Group Lease Thailand has now moved into Cambodia, with Group Lease’s embattled former chairman and CEO, Mitsuji Konoshita filing a complaint with Cambodian authorities and demanding the arrest and detention of J Trust officials.

According to the complaint, filed on April 1, Konoshita alleged that Nobuyoshi Fujisawa, the flamboyant president of J Trust, Nobiru Adachi, another J Trust director and legal guru, and a British accountant named Gwynn David Nevill Hopkins, the president of a Hong Kong firm called Saronic Holding Ltd., colluded to take control illegally of a company named Pacific Opportunities Holdings SARL in Luxembourg and “cease the operations of two other companies, Cougar Pacific Pte Ltd and Kuga Reflorestamento Ltda.”

John Christopher Dobby of Hogan Lovells Hong Kong and Ian Mann of Harney’s Hong Kong are advising Saronic and Fujisawa on the Pacific Opportunities seizure which was arranged by a Cambodian national known as Tep Rithvit. Tep is known as the Secretary General of the Tennis Federation of Cambodia and was arrested in Cambodia but released by senior political officials and is believed to have fled the country with his family.

No other details are given in the complaint. However, none of the three J Trust officials are in Cambodia and it doesn’t appear likely that they will be. The corporate feud, playing itself out in lawsuits in Thailand, Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, threatens to cost J Trust as much as US$250 million.

Group Lease was a Thai investor favorite until February 2017 when the hire purchase firm’s auditors mistakenly alleged massive amounts of audit fraud. In November 2017, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission and the Stock Exchange cracked down, charging the company and temporarily suspended its shares from trading. At that point, Mitsuji Konoshita, the CEO, left the country and hasn’t been back, leaving his brother Tatsuya and trusted CFO, Alain Dufes, holding the bag.

The two entities were closely intertwined until the SET’s action, whereupon J Trust filed a civil complaint seeking US$257 million in compensation from Konoshita and the other directors and later filed a petition for reorganization of Group Lease, seeking to freeze the organization’s financial activity.

It later filed a criminal complaint against Konoshita and other officials as well as filing a plethora of legal actions in Singapore against a flock of companies apparently affiliated with Group Lease including Cougar Pacific, Aref Holdings, Adalene Ltd., Bellaven Ltd – all incorporated in Cyprus. J Trust has continued to chase Konoshita’s holdings in the British Virgin Islands, Japan and Cyprus.

Thus it appears that J Trust’s illegal takeover of Cougar Pacific and Kuga Reflorestamento in Cambodia, which the Cambodian government has branded as illegal, stem from the Japanese financial concern’s attempts to reclaim funds it maintains were stolen in Thailand.

On its website, J Trust announced recently at the end of March that “in 2019, we plan to enter the Cambodian market, having announced the acquisition of 55 percent of shares in Cambodian commercial bank ANZ Royal Bank in May of 2018. In this way, J Trust strives to be a company that “provides financial services unconstrained by existing paradigms.”

Fujisawa’s and Adachi’s orders for detention by the Office of the Prosecutor of Phnom Penh Court of First Instance in Cambodia may scupper ANZ Bank Australia’s plan to sell 55 percent of ANZ Royal to JTrust.
Full article: https://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-busin ... a-arrests/
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Re: Japanese JTrust Plans to Buy Major Holding in ANZ Royal Bank Halted by Cambodian Arrest Warrants

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:56 pm

The Office of the Prosecutor in Cambodia Officially Filed a Criminal Case against Executives of J Trust Who Colluded to Defraud in Obtaining Shares of a Pacific Opportunities, a Parent of Client Company of Group Lease, a Subsidiary of Wedge Holdings.

TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 25, 2019--The Office of the Prosecutor of Phnom Penh in Cambodia against Mr. Nobuyoshi Fujisawa, a director of J Trust Asia Pte. Ltd (JTA) which is a Singapore subsidiary of J Trust Co.,Ltd., Mr. Nobiru Adachi, an employee that handles legal matters for JTA, and Mr. Gwynn David Nevill Hopkins, President of Saronic Holding Ltd, alleging that all have colluded with bad intentions to defraud along with Mr. Tep Rithvit, a Cambodian national. The Office of the Prosecutor of Phnom Penh
investigated and officially filed a criminal case against the three suspects. As to this fact, on 12 th April there was a media report from ‘Asia Sentinel’ and Wedge Holdings Co., Ltd. had received questions on this report so that Wedge Holdings Co., Ltd. would like to clarify the matter. *1

It is alleged that Mr. Nobuyoshi Fujisawa, Mr. Nobiru Adachi, and Mr. Gwynn David Nevill Hopkins colluded with bad intentions to defraud in obtaining 100% of a company under the name of Pacific Opportunities Holdings S a r l (POH) and took control and ceased the operations of subsidiaries of POH under the umbrella of POH. The acts committed above during the year of 2018 is sanction in Article 377 and 378 of the Criminal Code of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The action committed above is a crime of fraud having acted in Phnom Penh and the crime is sanction in Article 377 (Definition of the Fraud) and 378 (Penalties to be Imposed (2-5 years in Prison and fine)) of the Criminal Code of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The further judicial procedure is processing. The investigation is still going forward. Now the Cambodian Public Prosecutors office is asking the court to take these suspects under supervision of the court.
https://www.apnews.com/Business%20Wire/ ... f83d05dc34
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