Singapore — At least 70 police reports were filed against Torque Trading Systems, an online crypto-currency trading platform run by Singaporean Bernard Ong. Investors claim millions were lost in cryptocurrencies.
Retail investors were informed that one Torque employee had apparently violated the company’s regulations, and that his unauthorised trading activity resulted in major losses in their trading accounts. This was in early February, three days before the Chinese New Year holidays.
Torque Group Holdings, the owner of Torque Trading Systems, is listed through an incomplete address in the British Virgin Islands. The company sent a letter to investors, stating that all activity had been suspended to prevent further losses. Once investigations were concluded, investors could choose to either resume trade or withdraw the remaining balance and close their accounts, said Torque’s chief executive Bernard Ong.
However, Mr Ong applied to British Virgin Islands courts to wind up the company. The application was granted last week (mid-March), with Mr Philip Smith and Mr Jason Kardachi from restructuring and insolvency specialist firm Borrelli Walsh appointed as joint liquidators.
A review of Torque’s record and investor database by Borrelli Walsh estimated creditor claims at US$325 million (S$436 million) as of March 2. Crypto assets under control of the liquidators are valued at around US$9.1 million (S$12 million) as of March 14.
According to The Straits Times, Mr Ong, chief executive of Torque, has filed a police report in Singapore against the employee allegedly responsible for the losses. The employee is said to be based outside Singapore and cannot be contacted.
Police confirmed reports were lodged by both Mr Ong and investors and said they were looking into the matter.
Torque is said to have 80 employees based in Vietnam and Singapore. Twenty are Singaporean. Mr Ong shared that the cost is too high to run a 24-hour operation in Singapore. In addition, the British Virgin Islands are more friendly towards crypto space and do not have a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency.
As Borrelli Walsh has taken over the company, Mr Ong is currently not in charge of it but is willing to cooperate with any authority to help. “We are doing all we can to help anyone,” he said.
Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISGFollow us on Social Media
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