Man charged with cheating four victims of $1.1 million in forex investment scam

SINGAPORE - A 49-year-old man was charged in court on Wednesday (Nov 4) over his alleged role in an investment scheme involving $1.1 million.

Hong Ban Joo faces 21 counts of cheating. If convicted he may be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and liable for a fine in relation to each offence.

Between 2013 and 2015, Hong cheated four victims in supposed foreign exchange investment schemes that promised up to 8 per cent returns a month. He received sums of up to $200,000 in individual "transactions", and used the money for other purposes.

In a statement on Wednesday, the police advised members of the public to avoid investments that promise high returns, "guaranteed profits" or quick gains, especially when there are claims that the investments involve little or no risk. The police also advised people not to deal with parties unregulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

"Before committing to an investment, always Ask, Check and Confirm," said the police.

This refers to asking questions to understand the investment, checking on the company's background to see if the opportunity is genuine, and confirming their credentials with the relevant authorities.

Hong's next trial date is set for Dec 2, and he has been offered bail of $50,000.

Correction note: This article has been edited to reflect the correct surname of the suspect. We are sorry for the error.

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