Firm seeks quick end to probe

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 August, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 August, 1995, 12:00am

PAM & Frank International Holdings has urged the Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) to speed up the investigation into the $10 million blackmail case which rocked the firm in 1993 and led to an almost eight-month suspension of shares.

'We want the case to reach a conclusion fast,' a company spokesman said. 'Turnover and share trading are very thin because of the case.' He said the company had been inconvenienced because the police had kept the firm's account records between April 1 and September 30, 1992, to investigate alleged offences by chairman Frank Yeung Kai-fai under the Theft Ordinance.

The company had to go to the CCB to make photocopies when those records were needed, he said. Although the investigation had no major direct impact on the company's operations, the spokesman said, management asked for a conclusion to the investigation.

'It seems the CCB is not working hard,' he said.

A CCB spokesman said the investigation by CCB was continuing.

'We are not in an appropriate position to comment on the case,' he said.

The blackmail case was supposed to end when Pam & Frank's former in-house accountant Liu Shun-wah, who blackmailed company directors for $10 million in 1993, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

Liu, who helped prepare documents for the listing in September 1992, threatened to claim the company had submitted false accounts when applying to be listed on the stock exchange.

He plotted to blackmail Pam & Frank by threatening to expose a $30 million fraud, in which he claimed the company was involved, unless the company paid him $15 million, which was dropped to $10 million in March 1993.

Pam & Frank was suspended from trading on June 18, 1993, pending the outcome of inquiries and was granted permission to re-list on February 8, 1994.

The company made public in December 1993 a qualified set of accounts and a report on it by Ernst & Young. 'Ernst & Young was experienced in handling account reports for industrial shares,' Mr Lui said, adding that the firm had no doubts about the accountants.