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todayonline - 16 days ago

Businessman in one of S’pore’s largest fraud cases faces 5 new cheating charges involving S$8.8m

Ng Yu Zhi’s charges now involve more than S$57 million The police said he is linked to a nickel trading scheme that raised at least S$1 billion from investors The director of Envy Global Trading was arrested about two months ago Singapore authorities have also stopped about S$100 million in dealings connected to Ng SINGAPORE — The former managing director of commodities trader Envy Global Trading, who is alleged to be behind one of the largest financial fraud cases here, was charged on Tuesday (April 20) with five more cheating offences involving about S$8.8 million. Ng Yu Zhi, 34, was first hauled to court last month. He then faced four charges of cheating and being a party to fraudulent trading in connection with a nickel trading scheme that raised at least S$1 billion from investors. He has remained out on a bail of S$1.5 million since then. The Singaporean is also a director of Envy Asset Management, which is now inactive. It was a precursor to Envy Global Trading before an internal restructuring in June 2020, Reuters previously reported. The Singapore police earlier said that over a period of more than three years, at least S$1 billion has allegedly been invested in the two companies to purportedly finance nickel trading activities. The authorities also said that investors were promised varying returns, which averaged 15 per cent, over an investment period of three months. Ng’s new charge sheets alleged that he cheated five individuals into paying around S$8.8 million to Envy Global Trading over its forward contracts with metals trader Raffemet for the sale of nickel, when there were no such contracts. This purportedly took place from September last year to January this year. He had already been accused of deceiving two parties into paying at least S$48 million to Envy Global in connection with the same alleged scheme. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) first informed the police’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) about Ng’s two companies in November last year. After a probe into the activities of the two firms, Ng was then arrested on Feb 16 this year. The police said that over the course of the investigation, dealings in the bank accounts and properties of the firms that were connected to Ng have been stopped, and that the estimated value of the bank accounts and properties “is in the region of S$100 million”. Court documents showed that Ng allegedly tricked investors into lending money to Envy Asset Management to buy nickel from mining firm Poseidon Nickel Limited, when it did not make any such purchase. Ng is also alleged to have cheated investors into entering contracts with Envy Global Trading to support its dealings in selling nickel to BNP Paribas bank when there were no such dealings. He is also facing two counts of fraudulent trading for allegedly being a party to the business carried out for such purposes at Envy Asset Management and Envy Global Trading between October 2017 and February this year. The prosecution is led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Gordon Oh, while Ng is being defended by Mr Navin Thevar from Davinder Singh Chambers. He will return to court on May 17. If convicted of fraudulent trading, he could be jailed for up to seven years or fined up to S$15,000, or both. If convicted of cheating, he could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.


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