Singapore police charge Forex trio over unregulated activity

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Singapore police charge Forex trio over unregulated activity

Two men and one woman, aged between 44 and 61, were arrested on January 8, 2018.

The Singapore Police Force has issued a brief notice announcing the arrest of a Forex trio involved in the promotion of a prohibited multi-level marketing scheme and conducting a business without the necessary license.

The Commercial Affairs Department investigated a scheme offered by a company based outside of Singapore to investors in Singapore between 2013 and 2015. The entity, whose name was not unveiled by the police, promised investors monthly returns of about 6 to 8%, purportedly derived from the company’s trades in leveraged foreign exchange. Investors in the scheme could also receive referral commissions both from recruiting new investors to the scheme, and from the recruitment efforts of the new investors they attracted.

Two men and one woman, aged between 44 and 61, were arrested on January 8, 2018. The three suspects face charges in State Courts under Section 3 of the Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling (Prohibition) Act (“MLM Act”) for promoting a prohibited MLM scheme and Section 82 of the Securities Futures Act for not possessing the requisite Capital Markets Services Licence issued by MAS for carrying on a business in a regulated activity.

The penalty for violating Section 3 of the Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling (Prohibition) Act (“MLM Act”) for promoting a prohibited MLM scheme is a fine of up to $200,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or both. If found guilty under Section 82 of the Securities Futures Act for not possessing the requisite Capital Markets Services Licence issued by MAS for carrying on a business in a regulated activity, one shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine of up to $150,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, or to both.

The policemen remind the public that, under the Singaporean laws, it is illegal to promote or participate in a multi-level marketing scheme or arrangement or a pyramid selling scheme or arrangement. It also unlawful to carry out their business in any regulated activity without a Capital Markets Services Licence issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), unless otherwise exempted or excluded.

The Singaporean authorities have also been cautioning the public about the dangers associated with binary options trading. In announcement issued last year, MAS advises the public to contact the police in case of suspicions of binary options fraud. The regulator says investors can submit information online to the Police at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Alternatively, they may also lodge a Police report via the Electronic Police Centre at www.police.gov.sg/e-services or at any Neighbourhood Police Centre/Post.

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