Singapore – A 33-year-old businessman was charged in court on Monday (Mar 22) for his involvement in an alleged fraud case involving at least S$1 billion, the largest in the country’s history.
Ng Yu Zhi is the director of two firms, Envy Asset Management (EAM) and Envy Global Trading. He was reported to have raised money from investors to finance nickel trading.
The alleged victims of the scheme were promised returns averaging 15 per cent over three months, reported straitstimes.com.
However, the nickel trading never took place. The police confirmed on Monday that the money owed to investors hadn’t been returned.
Between Oct 2017 and Feb 2021, a total of S$1 billion was invested in the companies Mr Ng owned. About S$300 million was allegedly transferred to his personal account.
The report noted that neither EAM nor Envy Global Trading was licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). EAM has been on its investor alert list since March 2020, reported straitstimes.com.
According to public feedback provided to MAS, EAM claimed to be in the process of obtaining a licence, although no application had been initiated.
Meanwhile, the Commercial Affairs Department has seized S$100 million of Ng’s assets.
Ng was charged with two counts of cheating and two counts of being a party to fraudulent trading involving about S$48 million.
The prosecution asked for S$3 million cash bail and electronic tagging for Ng.
The court heard that he has family and access to assets overseas, such as a registered company with a London bank account and several sizeable investments in Switzerland, London and Hong Kong.
Ng also has a child with a partner currently in China. The report noted he had given her high-value gifts such as several cars during her stay in Singapore.
The defence requested S$1 million bail with e-tagging. They cited the Ponzi scheme case of Sunshine Empire, where the accused were given bail of at most S$800,000.
Mr Ng was given S$1.5 million bail with e-tagging by District Judge Terence Tay. He included a 10 pm to 6 am curfew. The bail amount is said to be the highest sum imposed since 2018, when electronic monitoring was introduced as a bail condition.
Ng is reported to be on remand. The case is scheduled to resume on May 17, with more charges expected to be submitted by the prosecution.
Ng could be imprisoned up to 10 years and fined for each count of cheating. For fraudulent trading, each count could result in imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of up to S$15,000, or both./TISG
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