More than 100 investors make police reports on gold buyback scheme at investment firm

Investors who allegedly lost millions from Suisse International's gold buyback scheme outside the Commercial Affairs Department at Police Cantonment Complex on Feb 2, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Investors who allegedly lost millions from Suisse International's gold buyback scheme outside the Commercial Affairs Department at Police Cantonment Complex on Feb 2, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - More than 100 unhappy investors gathered outside the Police Cantonment Complex on Monday to make police reports to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) about a local investment company.

They had invested in a gold buyback scheme with Suisse International but claim that they have not received their promised monthly payouts since September.

More recently, bosses of the company are alleged to have dropped out of contact.

The investors present claimed to represent around 250 people who have lost an estimated total of $35 million.

A 42-year-old woman who gave her name as Madam Wong said they had been waiting until Jan 31 to be returned their capital, as promised by the company.

She said they decided to take action after discovering that the general manager Jeffrey Chow is an undischarged bankrupt and the company tried to further extend the date of return.

Many of them had previously bought gold from another firm, Genneva Gold, which was raided by the CAD in 2012, and were eager to sell it off.

Customers were told Suisse International bought and sold gold to turn into novelty coins to be sold at a profit to local or overseas companies.

Another investor, Mr Teo, said he had borrowed money from a bank to invest. Since July 2013, he put in several hundred thousands of dollars and introduced more than 10 friends to the programme, which he said he now feels bad about.

"At first I thought the investment was not bad, there were returns... it looked legitimate, the office in Toa Payoh was so big and I was at the opening of the Johor Bahru office as well," said the retiree who is in his 50s.

"But the more we hear, the more we feel we have been very naive. It's a really painful feeling. We want to tell the bosses to come out and have a press conference and tell us when they will repay us."