Samtrade FX suspends operations in response to Singapore probe

abdelaziz Fathi

Samtrade FX is being jointly investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for possible offences under Section 82 of the Securities and Futures Act 2001.

Samtrade FX

In a statement issued on Monday, CAD and MAS said the joint investigation, launched on December 28, stems from Samtrade FX carrying on business in regulated activities without a capital markets services licence.

Specifically, the probe covers the trading services offered by Samtrade FX, which is run by Samtrade FX Limited, a company registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. It also extends into its related Singapore entities, namely Samtrade FX LLP and Samtrade FX (SG) Pte Ltd.

The agency also said that three men, aged between 31 and 36, have been arrested in connection with the joint investigation.

According to the statement, MAS will further review and take necessary actions if its inspection uncovers lapses or Samtrade FX had breached regulations. Of the group companies, no entity is regulated in Singapore as a capital markets services licensee.

In July 2021, MAS added Samtrade FX to it caution list and issued a direction to prohibit the company from onboarding new investors.

Finally, the police and MAS advised the public to beware of firms working outside the law and without the proper necessary approvals and licenses.

They can also check MAS’ Investor Alert List, which features the names of businesses that have come to the attention of the watchdog because they are unlicensed in Singapore and are believed to be, or to have been, targeting local investors, or claim to have an association with the city-state.

“Members of the public can verify if an entity has a valid licence by checking MAS’ Financial Institutions Directory. They can also check MAS’ Investor Alert List , which is a list of unregulated persons and entities who, based on information received by MAS, may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or authorised by MAS. MAS’ regulatory framework seeks to ensure that only competent and professional persons may provide regulated financial services. If you choose to deal with unregulated entities or persons, you will forgo the protection under MAS’ regulations,” it said.

In an official response to the CAD’s indictment of its executives, as well as MAS’s investigation, Samtrade FX said it will immediately suspend local and overseas business operations of their “key operating entities and other affiliated entities.” The suspension includes account opening, account changes, settlements, payments, opening and closing of trades.

The company has issued the following detailed statement.

 

IN RELATION TO

MEDIA RELEASE DATED 3 JANUARY 2022 BY COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT AND MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

 

  1. We refer to the media release dated 3 January 2022 by the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (collectively “Authorities”) in relation to investigations into Samtrade FX Limited, Samtrade FX LLP and Samtrade FX (SG) Pte Ltd.
  2. We and our officers will co-operate fully and render all assistance to the Authorities in their investigations.
  3. We have also retained Messrs Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP (https://sg.rajahtannasia.com/) as our Singapore corporate legal counsel to advise us on all legal matters relating to the ongoing investigations.
  4. In view of the above circumstances, we will be taking immediate steps to suspend local and overseas business operations of our key operating entities and other affiliated entities, including but not limited to account opening, account changes, settlements, payments, opening and closing of trades.
  5. To protect the interests of all stakeholders, we are in the process of making applications to the Singapore courts to place certain entities into judicial management and to seek the appointment of Mr Goh Thien Phong from GTP Advisory PAC and Mr Chan Kheng Tek from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Pte Ltd to be appointed jointly and severally as interim judicial managers (“Interim JMs”). Pending the determination of the judicial management applications, the Interim JMs will independently and professionally oversee all matters and affairs relating to these entities.
  6. 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). The Interim JMs will provide more details once they have been appointed and assumed operational control.
  7. Further updates on material developments will be provided, as and when appropriate.

 

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