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INVESTIGATORS into the 2013 penny stock collapse have found enough evidence to show that Malaysian businessman Soh Chee Wen was the mastermind behind the companies at the heart of the market crash, the Public Prosecutor said on Wednesday at a hearing on Mr Soh's bail conditions.
Authorities also expect to file charges by the end of the year, possibly before September. Mr Soh, however, maintained his innocence and said he was keen for light to eventually be shed on the matter.
The High Court of Singapore rejected Mr Soh's application to set bail terms and to allow him to visit his ailing mother in Malaysia.
Mr Soh, whose passport had been impounded by the Commercial Affairs Department since April 2014 as part of investigations into the October 2013 crash, had argued that the restriction of his movements was "unfair and unreasonable".
Mr Soh's lawyer, Tan Chee Meng of Wong Partnership, argued that his client had willingly remained in Singapore in the period between the October 2013 crash and the formal start of investigations; if Mr Soh was inclined to flee, he would not have continued to come to Singapore. He has also been fully cooperative with investigators, Mr Tan said.
The Public Prosecutor, however, argued that Mr Soh was a clear and present flight risk. It would not have been obvious that Mr Soh would have been a subject of investigations initially because his name was not featured in any of the companies at the heart of the investigations. It would also be difficult to enforce any warrants for Mr Soh's arrest if he was not in Singapore, the Prosecutor said.
The investigations are still ongoing in order for investigators to assemble a more complete case, the Prosecutor said.