A customer patronizes a 7-Eleven store in Kuala Lumpur May 8, 2014. Malaysia's biggest convenience store operator, 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd , is seeking to raise up to $226 million in its initial public offering, a term sheet of the deal showed.The company, controlled by Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan, set an indicative price range of 1.33 ringgit to 1.38 ringgit per share. The top end of the range values the company at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19.5 times. REUTERS/Samsul Said

During a Senate hearing on Thursday, controversy ridden 7-Eleven chief and major shareholder Russell Withers divulged that the head office is already aware of the “cash scam” and is taking steps against two of its franchisees.

He said that it was incredulous to ask for the money after paying it. "It almost defies belief that someone would actually do that,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

Natalie Dalbo, the general manager of the 7-Eleven group, then revealed that the happenings have already reached the head office and that the company is also working with the staff of those stores to investigate the matters. "We have had a staff member make contact with us and we've worked with those people to obtain the evidence that corroborates their story,” she said. “We're gathering that now and we're going through that and we will terminate the franchisee.”

The confession, that the head office is aware of the scam and that it has already started investigation into the allegations, came as a surprise to the Senate. Previously, the convenience store was hit by the “half pay scam” in which the workers were made to work double the hours and received just half of the payment.

But after the media picked up the scam and it went viral toward the end of August, franchisees shifted to a new scandal, which came to be known as the “cash scam.” In the new system, the franchises paid the workers their full wages through bank account transfer but asked them to return half the money by cash. They insisted the transactions are made away from the surveillance cameras. If the workers refused to comply they were threatened to be sacked and deported. This practice was reportedly taking place in most of the 620 stores under the 7-Eleven banner.

"If we can provide the evidence and satisfy a reasonable person that the evidence points to that behaviour" head office would terminate the store agreement,'' Dalbo said.

The workers’ complaints previously fell on deaf ears when they were referred to the head office. The new resolution on its part seems to be the after effect of the amount of attention the scams received.

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