Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Ten suspects are held on allegations of defrauding investors of billions

PONZIED?Suspects were held by the Taipei District Court, and prosecutors said that the accused promised high returns, which can be deemed an economic crime

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Taipei District Court yesterday approved a request by prosecutors to detain 10 suspects for alleged involvement in an illegal financial scheme that has raked in billions of New Taiwan dollars.

According to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, the suspects are members of the investment firm Financial.org, which has been in operation in Taiwan since June 2017.

The company enticed investors through an investment scheme in which they were promised high returns through profits generated by the US stock market.

According to prosecutors, the company made an estimated NT$3 billion (US$98.64 million) in commission.

A court issue has been ordered to have the 10 people detained for suspected breaches of the Banking Act (銀行法), prosecutors added.

Based on regulations governed by the Act, financial schemes that promise unrealistically high returns are deemed illegal and classified as serious economic crimes.

According to the prosecutors’ office, a total of 19 people were summoned for questioning by the Criminal Investigation Bureau on Thursday, and 10 have since been detained pending further investigation.

According to a Reuters report published on Sept. 7, Financial.org is an unregulated British firm that ceased operations in September.

The company is said to have managed hundreds of thousands of US dollars for Asian investors, despite regulators noting that it was not licensed to engage in such financial services, the report said.

The report also noted that financial watchdogs in Britain, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates had placed the company on an alert list of unauthorized investment companies with which investors should exercise extreme caution.

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