SINGAPORE - A Singaporean man and his Malaysian girlfriend are in the news in Taiwan for allegedly running an investment ploy there that generated profits of more than NT$37.2 million (S$1.83 million).
Victor Soh Kwang Liang, 45, director of GTIC Holdings, was charged in Taipei on Monday (Dec 20) for offences under Taiwan's Securities and Exchange Act and Banking Act.
Prosecutors said he allegedly operated illegal schemes that promised high returns for investing in gold and precious metals, reported newspaper Taipei Times.
Eight others were charged along with Soh for similar offences, including his girlfriend Lo Lee-chee who goes by the name Syengnel Loh, according to GTIC's website, which lists her as general manager.
The others are GTIC staff.
Soh and Lo were reported to have obtained Taiwanese citizenship through long-term residency, and made profits of more than NT$70 million in Taiwan by offering shares of two unlisted GTIC companies in over-the-counter markets.
They allegedly targeted Chinese-speaking people in China and South-east Asia.
Checks by The Straits Times found that GTIC Holdings has been registered here since 2004. It was previously known as RST Alliance, with a registered address in Boon Lay.
Its principal activities are listed as oil trading and wholesale trading of precious metals.
According to the website for GTIC Gold Refinery in Taiwan, it deals in gold bullion, bearing an image of the merlion on its packaging.
The site claims Soh was vice-president of a concrete company in Dubai for five years.
Checks by ST found that he was listed as a director of RST since 2010, and that he changed the company's name to GTIC in 2014.
He has a registered address at an HDB flat in Woodlands, and was previously the director of a geomancy consultancy in 2013 and 2014.
He also held director roles and owned several companies relating to investment, materials and maritime services, but has either been struck off or had his appointment cancelled when the company was terminated.
The only other live business he is listed as a director of here is construction and interior design company Simpex Singapore.
ST has contacted the Taiwan authorities for comment.