SINGAPORE — The director of a company on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) investor alert list, together with five of his associates were hauled to court on Wednesday (July 4) for suspected involvement in a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.
Leong Koon Wah, 45, who is the director of Singliworld Pte Ltd, was served with five charges, including one of promoting a prohibited pyramid selling arrangement called SingliForex scheme.
The scheme offered to investors in Singapore and Malaysia between 2014 and 2015 promised high returns, purportedly from the company’s trading of leveraged foreign exchange, said the police in a press release on Tuesday.
Investors could receive commission based on the trading activities of those they directly recruited, as well as that of new investors recruited by traders they brought in earlier.
The charge sheet did not reveal how much money was involved in the scheme. The offence carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail and S$200,000 fine.
Leong’s other charges included one count under the Companies Act, in which he allegedly used Singliworld, a company incorporated in Singapore, to conduct fraudulent trading.
The charge sheet stated that he induced customers to invest in a “leveraged” foreign exchange trading scheme with Hong Kong-incorporated Triumph Global (Asia) Limited and New Zealand-incorporated Union Markets Limited, although the two companies were not involved in any genuine foreign exchange trading activities.
They also had no sustainable means of funding the returns to customers.
If convicted of fraudulent trading, Leong could be jailed for up to seven years, and/or fined up to S$15,000.
Leong, who is also part of the management committee for Triumph Global and Union Markets, also faces three counts under the Securities and Futures Act for allegedly carrying on businesses of leveraged foreign exchange trading – a regulated activity – although all three companies did not hold a capital markets services licence issued by the MAS to do it.
Each of these charges carries a punishment of up to three years and a fine of up to S$150,000.
The five associates charged alongside him are Ng Kuan Chuan, 32; Lim Kang Wee, 37; Tan Meng Chye, 57; Lee Yoon Chaw, 54; and Wan Keng Yuen, 48.
The court has not heard which positions each of the five held.
But Ng, a Malaysian, was served with charges similar to Leong’s under the Companies Act as well as the Securities and Futures Act.
The rest were hit with one count each of promoting the SingliForex pyramid selling scheme.
The cases of Leong and Ng, whose bail amounts are set at S$240,000 and S$200,000 respectively, will be heard in court again on July 9.
Tan, Lee and Wan will return to court on July 18, while Lim’s case will be heard again on July 31. Their bail amounts were set at S$30,000 each.