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Singapore cops make arrests at unlicensed offshore forex trading operation


Police in Singapore have made three arrests are part of a probe into an offshore forex brokerage called Samtrade FX. The probe by local police is being coordinated with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s regulator.

Samtrade FX, which announced yesterday it was suspending operations, is based in the Caribbean offshore jurisdiction of St Vincent & the Grenadines. It also has two Singapore entities which were not licensed by the MAS.

The Singapore police said that Samtrade FX and its related entities are currently being investigated for potential offences under Section 82 of the Securities and Futures Act (2001). This prohibits any person from carrying out a business in any regulated activity without a capital markets services license.

Suspicion of irregular trading activities

“There is reason to suspect that irregular trading activities have been carried out on the platform and investigations are being carried out on these activities,” Singapore police said in a statement this week.

The police have arrested three men aged between 31 and 36, in connection with their investigation.

Singapore police said that members of the public need to exercise caution when dealing with providers of financial products and services. Residents of Singapore are encouraged to deal only with persons who are regulated by the MAS.

Firm puts entities under judicial management

Samtrade FX’s response has been to put a number of its entities under judicial management in order to protect the interests of its shareholders. The company said in a statement: “As investigations by the authorities are ongoing, we seek the understanding of stakeholders that we will not be in a position, in the meantime, to process any requests or instructions (including for trades, payments or withdrawals).”

Samtrade FX had already been listed by MAS on its investor alerts service. It confirmed this week it would be taking immediate steps to suspend local and overseas business operations including key operating entities and affiliated entities.

Samtrade FX also offers trading services in Australia as well as from its offshore base in the Caribbean. In 2020 it signed a sponsorship deal with EFL Championship team Cardiff City FC for two seasons as part of its expansion into the European market.

Founded in 2015, Samtrade FX employs over 300 people globally and claims more than 200,000 trading clients. It was founded by Sam Goh, who previously worked as head of sales and business development at Ding Ying Capital in Shanghai and was also an investment strategist with Priority Wealth Group in Singapore.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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