SINGAPORE - A former director of a corporate training services company was taken to court on Thursday (Aug 22) after he allegedly cheated 29 people of more than $3 million.
Muhamad Aidith Abdul Latiff, 44, who was from CAL Academy, is said to have duped each alleged victim into handing over sums that ranged from about $1,000 to more than $1.5 million in a scheme that promised investors a 97 per cent return on their investments.
The Singaporean allegedly cheated them between February and August 2016.
He is also accused of unlawfully transporting cash in and out of Singapore.
Between June 2015 and March 2016, Aidith is said to have repeatedly smuggled through the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints cash of between $30,000 and $50,000, exceeding the allowed limit of $20,000.
He was charged on Thursday with 29 counts of cheating and 26 counts of failing to declare cross-border movement of cash.
In a statement, police said that between April 2015 and August 2016, officers received several reports from people who were allegedly cheated by a man who promoted the investment scheme.
Police have advised the public to avoid investments that promise high returns, guaranteed profits and quick gains - especially when there are claims that the investments involve little or no risk.
They said that before committing to an investment, people should ask as many questions as they need to fully understand the investment opportunity as well as check on the company, its owners, directors and management members to assess if the offer is genuine.
Police also advise the public to confirm the credentials of both the company and its representatives through resources such as the Financial Institutions Directory.
Aidith, who was unrepresented, told the court on Thursday that he intends to engage a lawyer.
He is now out on bail of $80,000 and will be back in court on Sept 12.
If convicted of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.