Blumont Group

Witness Ken Tai admits to market manipulation for his own gain after lengthy cross-examination

SINGAPORE (Oct 4): A witness in the trial of the alleged masterminds of the 2013 penny stocks crash, John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su Ling, today admitted to manipulation of the stock market for his own gain.

However, the witness, former broker Ken Tai Chee Ming, said he is only admitting to manipulation in order to “make him [Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan] happy” after a protracted and frustrating back-and-forth that ended only when Justice Hoo Sheau Ping intervened.

Witness Ken Tai 'disgusted' by the way boss John Soh treated his closest allies

SINGAPORE (Oct 3): John Soh Chee Wen, alleged mastermind of the 2013 penny stock crash, was a boss who did not treat closest members of his market-rolling gang well.

This was revealed in court on Thursday as the prosecution finished up its examination-in-chief of prosecution witness Ken Tai Chee Ming, who was once part of Soh’s “inner circle”.

More tales of jealousy, betrayal emerge in penny stock trial

SINGAPORE (Oct 2): More tales of jealousy and betrayal have emerged from the trial of John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su-Ling, as former abettor-turned-prosecution witness Ken Tai Chee Ming (image) returned to the stand on Wednesday.

Under examination-in-chief by the prosecution, Tai recounted the way Soh and Quah – the alleged masterminds behind the 2013 penny stock crash – had carried out their “market rolling” activities for shares in Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital (now called Attilan Group) and LionGold Corp (BAL).

Prosecution witness Ken Tai reveals more stock brokers involved in 'market rolling' web

SINGAPORE (Oct 1): Prosecution witness Ken Tai Chee Ming has exposed more names within the local stock broking community that had connections with alleged 2013 penny stock crash masterminds John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su-Ling.

Tai, who was once part of the duo’s “inner circle”, had said in his conditioned statement that one Roger Tan had introduced him to Quah in late 2010.

In court on Tuesday, Tai revealed that Tan was the chief executive officer of Voyage Research – the spin-off of the Singapore Investors Association (Singapore) that was formerly known as SIAS Research.

John Soh trial resumes with a peek into deceit, betrayal in 'inner circle'

SINGAPORE (Sept 30): Ken Tai Chee Ming was a commissioned dealer at AmFraser Securities (now known as KGI Securities Singapore) in 2010 when he was first introduced to Quah Su-Ling and John Soh Chee Wen – the alleged masterminds behind the penny stock crash of 2013.

Within two years, Tai quickly became “a lot more involved” in the duo’s market operations, and was considered part of the “inner circle” of traders that Soh entrusted with more responsibilities. But the relationship soon soured, amid a tale of betrayal and broken promises.

Failed Innopac deal portends mining magnate Gutnick’s woes in Australia

SINGAPORE (May 20): The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is seeking judicial permission to wind down mining company Merlin Diamonds. The regulator is also probing into whether its chairman Joseph Gutnick failed in his duties.

Gutnick, who is known as “Diamond Joe”, is under investigation for a A$13 million ($12.3 million) loan made by Merlin to AXIS Consultants, a private company linked to him. Merlin shares have been suspended from trading since October 2018.

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Broking firm filed suspicious transaction reports for accounts, says witness

SINGAPORE (May 16): Brokerage firm KGI Securities had filed Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) for three of 20 trading accounts allegedly manipulated by the masterminds behind the 2013 penny stocks crash, the court heard on Thursday.

During examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh, KGI Securities’ Head of Risk, Tan Seow Kiat, said three third-party cheques had been issued as cash collateral for trading accounts belonging to Ooi Cheu Kok, Nelson Fernandez, and Lim Kuan Yew in AmFraser Securities as it was known, prior to a takeover by KGI in 2015.

Witnesses stand up to questioning; Coutts reveals hefty losses from crash

SINGAPORE (May 13): Four of the six prosecution witnesses who have testified so far at the trial of John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su-Ling have been remisiers. The two who took the stand last week, however, stood up significantly better than the earlier two under cross-examination by the defence lawyers.

The first two, Jack Ng Kit Kiat and Alex Chew Keng Chiow, had been meek and hesitant during cross-examination. Andy Lee, previously with Lim and Tan, and Angelia Poon Mei Choo, of OCBC Securities, stood their ground, however, and talked back when grilled by the defence lawyers.

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Onus on trade reps to obtain proper third-party authorisation: OCBC Securities

SINGAPORE (May 9): Woon Kok Yan, head of risk management of OCBC Securities, placed the blame squarely on trade representatives for failing to obtain formal third-party authorisation, when he took the stand in court on Day 13 of the penny stock manipulation trial of John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su-Ling.

In his conditional statement, Woon cited the terms and conditions for account openings, as well as the SGX-ST rulebook, as rules for account holders to abide, including giving formal third-party authorisation.

Prosecution witness Lee accused of lying and concealing facts in court

SINGAPORE (May 6): The trial of John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su Ling resumed on Monday with defence counsels accusing former Lim & Tan remiser Andy Lee Chee Wee of lying and concealing facts in court.

Soh’s lawyer, Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan, confronted Lee, asking why he had chosen to lie despite warnings by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) officer before each interview. 

In the warning, interviewees are told that they could decline to answer questions if it implicated themselves, but that lying would constitute an offence.

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