Thursday, August 11, 2011

Scandal-hit ex-BMF chairman Lorrain Esme Osman dies in London

Lorrain Esme Osman who was involved in the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) financial scandal in the 1980s, died of cancer in London on Monday, 8th August 2011.

The 79-year-old former BMF chairman had been living in the English capital quietly after serving time for his involvement in the scandal, which saw the financial institution losing about RM 2.5 billion.

He moved to London after the scandal shook the nation in the 1980s.

Cambridge-educated Lorrain Esme, a lawyer by profession, had helped to set up Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Berhad (BBMB) in the mid-60s and BMF was a subsidiary of the bank.

Lorrain’s downfall came after a Malaysian-owned company based in Hong Kong, the Carrian Group, went into liquidation.

The company, which was formed by George Tan Soon Gin, had expended tremendously in a short span of time with assets across the globe but it crashed in 1982.

In Malaysia, BMF directors were held personally responsible and Lorrain was alleged to have accepted bribes for the approval of loans to Carrian Group.

Lorrain and other BMF directors resigned soon after and he was arrested in London in December 1985.

What followed subsequently was a tedious and lengthy drama with the former BMF director going to the European Commission of Human Rights to fight his extradition to Hong Kong while being in custody in London.

Lorrain was freed from a Hong Kong jail in 1993 after serving a year’s jail.

Meanwhile In GEORGE TOWN, Penang, former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hazmah extended his condolences to Lorrain’s family.

Razaleigh was Finance Minister during the height of the BMF scandal.

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