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Two convicts in Singapore linked to collapse of 6 billion penny shares, writes Reuters

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© Reuters.

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The Singapore High Court has convicted two people for what authorities consider the biggest case of market manipulation in the city-state, a joint statement from Singapore police and the Singapore Monetary Authority said on Thursday.

For nearly a decade, Singapore authorities have been investigating suspected trade irregularities linked to a so-called penny stock crash in late 2013 that wiped out about $ 8 billion ($ 5.78 billion) worth of three companies in a matter of days. .

Kua Su-Ling and Malaysian John So Chi Wen were the instigators of a complex scheme of artificially overstating the shares of Blumont Group Ltd (Blumont), Asiasons Capital Ltd (Asiasons) and LionGold Corp Ltd (LionGold), the statement said.

The couple was found guilty of more than a hundred crimes, including market manipulation and fraud.

The scandal, which boosted several stocks several months before they fell, undermined investor confidence and led to a series of reforms in the city-state’s stock exchange rules.

In the course of the investigation, the Singapore authorities conducted raids in more than 50 locations and interviewed more than 70 people, examining evidence consisting of more than two million letters, 500,000 trade orders and thousands of phone records and financial reports, the joint statement said.

Co and Kua, with whom they could not be reached for comment, will be sentenced later.

A lawyer representing Soho did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to media reports, Kua was not represented in court.

(1 dollar = 1.3552 Singapore dollars)

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