Prosecution witness Gabriel Gan stressed he would like alleged 2013 penny stock crash mastermind John Soh Chee Wen to “walk out of this court scot-free”.

“You know why? So that I can collect the money he owes me. That’s a lot of money all right,” he told the court under cross examination by Soh’s defence counsel, N Sreenivasan of K&L Gates Straits Law on August 11.

Gan was responding to queries if he was trying to “fix” Soh.

To explain this, Sreenivasan played an audio recording of a call between Gan and a certain Nelson Fernandez – his former client whom he had been introduced to by Soh.

He asked if Gan – who had recorded the call – had set it up by asking questions like: “Isn’t [Soh] bank rolling you” and “isn’t Neo Kim Hock a figurehead?”. Neo is part of Soh and his alleged co-conspirator Quah Su-Ling’s inner circle.

Gan disagreed.

A former remisier with DMG Securities, Gan succumbed to bankruptcy on August 18 2016. He was part of the core group of remisiers who took trading instructions from Soh and Quah as they allegedly manipulated shares in LionGold, Blumont Group and Asiasons Capital (now Attilan Group).

The eventual collapse of the counters in October 2013 had wiped out some $8 billion in market value.

Earlier on, Sreenivasan had attempted to expose certain inconsistencies and discrepancies in Gan’s statements.

Drawing reference to a sale of 8 million shares on September 30 2013 by a single party, Sreenivasan pressed Gan on the date and identity of the seller.

Gan had previously said the transaction had gone through in the first week of October, “if [his] memory served [him] right”.

Acknowledging that this is a noteworthy event, Gan said he has difficulty recalling the specific dates since the incident happened almost seven years ago.

After showing a series of trades that had been done on September 30 2013, Sreenivasan said – “I'll just ask you, and this one is a genuine question, not a cross-examination trick, do you have any idea what went on?”

Gan responded he does not have an idea.

Recalling the series of events Gan said he had asked Dick Gwee – another member of Soh and Quah’s inner circle – who initially responded that the transaction had been performed by Quah “and the rest”.

“Subsequently [Gwee] said that [Quah] told him it was not them but it was somebody else”.

Sreenivasan went on to ask Gan if he informed Soh of trades he had performed, particularly to two individuals – Sie Swee Teck and Ng Koon Yew whom he referred to as his “friends”

He said he had reported the trades, but not the people behind them. Reports included the buy/sell volume and average price from June 2013 till the penny stock crash.

“Lost control”

In his conditioned statement, Gan had expressed concerns over being viewed negatively by Soh if the price of Asiasons rose at a fast pace and if the shares sold earlier in the day may need to bought back later at a higher price.

Clarifying this, he said Soh have attributed the price increase of the counter to Gan and the other traders having “lost control”.

“You see, John Soh is being charged for market manipulation, which means he was controlling the market, according to the prosecution. But what you are saying is that John Soh lost control of Asiasons in 25 September 2013. Right?"

Gan agreed.

The trial resumes on August 12 with Sreenivasan continuing his cross-examination of Gan.