MAS and CAD to jointly investigate market misconduct in new arrangement

SINGAPORE- The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force will jointly investigate market misconduct offences such as insider trading and market manipulation from today.

Previously, MAS and CAD investigate market misconduct offences independently, based on an initial assessment of whether the offence is likely to be a civil penalty or criminal prosecution case, said a joint statement released on Tuesday.

Joint investigations will mean that MAS and CAD will collaborate in investigations of all potential market misconduct offences from the beginning. The decision on whether a case is subject to civil penalty action or criminal prosecution will be made when investigations are concluded, the statement added.

"This arrangement will enhance the enforcement process as both agencies will collaborate from the outset, bringing about greater efficiency," the authorities said.

Under the new arrangement, MAS and CAD will consolidate their investigative resources and expertise, drawing from from MAS' role as a financial regulator and CAD's financial crime investigation and intelligence capabilities. MAS officers taking part in the joint investigations will be gazetted as CAD officers, giving them the same criminal powers of investigation.

Such powers include the ability to search premises and seize items, and to order financial institutions to monitor customer accounts.

MAS Assistant Managing Director of Capital Markets Lee Boon Ngiap and CAD director Tan Boon Gin affirmed the joint investigation arrangement as an important "refinement" to the market misconduct enforcement regime.

"The new arrangement would deliver more effective enforcement outcomes that would further strengthen public trust and confidence in Singapore's capital market," said the joint statement.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg