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Duo get much heftier fines for unauthorised share trading after MAS appeal

[SINGAPORE] The High Court of Singapore has slapped heftier fines on two individuals for unauthorised share trading after an appeal by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Mr Wang Boon Heng saw his fine doubled to S$150,000 from S$75,000, while Ms Foo Jee Chin will now have to pay S$75,000, up from S$50,000. The earlier civil penalties were doled out in March this year by the State Courts.

MAS felt that the original fines "did not adequately reflect the severity of the breaches and a higher civil penalty was needed to deter such misconduct", it said in a media release on Thursday (Nov 2).

Wang and Foo were further ordered to pay MAS S$21,000 for the legal costs and disbursements incurred by regulator for the appeal. This comes on top of S$58,636 in legal costs the duo were ordered to pay by the State Courts.

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Wang carried out share trading for his own benefit in accounts opened in Foo's name with DMG & Partners and UOB Kay Hian, between September and December 2007. This was deemed a breach of Securities and Futures Act section 201(b), which prohibits fraudulent share trading, because the broking firms did not authorise or give consent to Wang's actions.

By allowing Wang to trade in her accounts without the broker firms' authorisation or consent, Foo was also deemed to have intentionally deceived the broking firms.

MAS felt that the civil penalty quantum awarded by the State Courts "did not adequately reflect the severity of the breaches and a higher civil penalty was needed to deter such misconduct."

THE STRAITS TIMES

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