Cash crunch hits some KL moneychangers after S$2.7m theft

KUALA LUMPUR: Some money changers in the Malaysian capital could be facing supply problems after a major currency wholesaler suffered a RM8 million (S$2.7 million) theft.

The wholesaler distributes cash to other outlets in the money-changing industry in Kuala Lumpur.

According to sources, a staff member absconded with the money, which was meant to be distributed to other agencies last Friday.

Some money changers in the city are now suffering a cash shortage because of the theft, although those in the trade assured consumers that there is enough in the market to meet overall demand.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Amar Singh has confirmed the case.

"I can't reveal any details at the moment but I can confirm that we are investigating," he said on Sunday.


According to sources, the theft may have been an inside job involving more than one person.

"There is a major internal investigation into how this could have happened," said one source.

A check at six money changers in a major KL shopping centre showed it was mostly business as usual despite the reported theft. There were long lines of customers queuing at the money changers as passers-by studied the exchange rate boards on Sunday afternoon.

Two of the money changers were fully staffed to cope with the weekend crowd.

But another outlet next door was quiet, with no customers, as 15 of the 20 currencies it deals in were listed as "sold out".

The only available currencies were euros, Singapore dollars, Brunei dollars, Canadian dollars and New Zealand dollars.

Asked if it was unusual for them to be sold out, the tellers said there was nothing out of the ordinary.

"It is normal for us to be sold out as sometimes, we do not receive our stock on weekends," said one teller, who declined to be named.

The staff said they were not aware of any theft in the industry. - THE STAR