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MAS, CAD widen joint investigations to all capital markets, financial advisory offences

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) will be making some changes to their boards, effective Feb 1, 2018.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the police's white-collar crime unit, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), will extend their joint investigations arrangement to cover all offences under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and Financial Advisers Act (FAA).

The move, which takes effect from March 17 this year, will allow for greater efficiency and more effective enforcement of capital markets and financial advisory offences, MAS and CAD said in a joint press statement on Tuesday.

The joint investigations arrangement was launched in March 2015 to cover market misconduct offences such as insider trading and market manipulation.

The joint probes of market misconduct have so far resulted in three convictions: Dennis Tey Thean Yang in March 2017 for employing a scheme to defraud two providers of contract for differences, Alan Tay Yeow Kee in May 2017 for insider trading in the shares of Qualitas Medical Group and Leeden Limited and Mok Piak Liang in January 2018 for false trading in the shares of Wilton Resources Corp.

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Several other cases, including persons involved in the alleged manipulation of shares in Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp in the 2013 penny stock crash, are currently before the courts.

In the past, MAS and CAD investigated financial crimes independently, based on an initial assessment of whether the offence was likely to be a civil penalty or criminal prosecution case.

Joint investigations enable MAS and CAD to collaborate from the outset, with the decision on whether a case is subject to civil penalty action or criminal prosecution made only when investigations are concluded.

They also allow MAS and CAD to pool their investigative resources and expertise, drawing from MAS' role as a financial regulator and CAD's financial crime investigation and intelligence capabilities.

MAS officers taking part in joint investigations will be gazetted as CAD officers, giving them the same criminal powers of investigation, including the ability to search premises and seize items, and to order financial institutions to monitor customer accounts.

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