Three for market manipulation
THREE men whose alleged fraud wiped US$5.6 billion off the Singapore exchange have been charged with manipulating the market.
Malaysian John Soh Chee Wen and Singaporean Quah Su Ling are accused of being the “masterminds” behind a plot that involved using over 180 trading accounts to inflate the share prices of three companies, authorities said.
Calling it the largest market manipulation in the city-state’s history, prosecutors, police and the central bank said the “complex and elaborate fraud” involved the shares of Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp.
Mr Soh and Mr Quah allegedly used the shares as collateral, convincing several banks including Goldman Sachs to extend more than S$170 million (US$119 million) credit to finance their scheme.
They then used this cash to create demand for penny stocks, with previous reports saying they managed to push up some prices by around 800 percent in the nine months leading up to October 2013.
But on October 4, prices crashed, wiping huge sums off the value of the Singapore exchange. Authorities say the incident dented investor confidence and directly affected trading volumes in 2014. –