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RP Chief Jeyaretnam questions prolonged trial in US$1.1B nickel trading scam case

Accused nickel scammer Ng Yu Zhi faces new charge, remanded for alleged money laundering. Reform Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam expresses concern over prolonged duration for the high-profile court case.

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On Wednesday (31 January),  Ng Yu Zhi, the accused nickel trading scammer, faced an additional charge and was remanded once again for further investigation into his alleged participation in money laundering-related offences that reportedly involve “many parties.”

In response to the developments in the case, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, the Secretary-General of the Reform Party, raised concerns about the prolonged duration of the high-profile scam case.

He also recalled the involvement of a Temasek Holdings general counsel among several prominent legal professionals who had purportedly become victims of the US$1.1 billion fraud scam.

Accused in US$1.1 billion nickel trading scam faces 106 criminal charges

As reported by the Straits Times, Ng Yu Zhi is accused of attempting to sell a shophouse at 13 Bussorah Street, which he allegedly acquired with criminal proceeds, to an individual identified as Gan Wee Pin in October 2023, personally obtaining S$500,000 from the sale.

The 36-year-old, founder, and former managing director of Envy Global Trading and Envy Asset Management, was apprehended in February 2021 and now faces a total of 106 criminal charges for his purported involvement in a nickel trading scam that allegedly defrauded investors of US$1.1 billion.  He was made a bankrupt in December 2022.

The charges encompass cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery, fraudulent trading, and money laundering.

Approximately 1,000 investors invested in the scheme, which falsely promised average quarterly gains of 15 per cent.

Initially remanded on 19 January last year, after his bail was increased to $6 million and he couldn’t promptly secure the additional funds for full bail, Ng later raised the required amount and was released on bail when he received the latest charge.

On Wednesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gordon Oh requested Ng to be remanded for one week to allow the police to conduct further investigations into “suspected incidents of money laundering involving many parties” and telecommunication devices found in his possession that require further scrutiny with his cooperation.

The DPP expressed concerns that releasing Ng on bail might pose a risk of tipping off other suspects involved in the case, potentially leading to the destruction of computer evidence and investigative leads from the telecommunication devices.

District Judge Brenda Tan granted the request for remand, and Ng is scheduled to appear back in the State Courts on 7 February.

RP Chief raises concerns over lengthy delay in high-profile court case

Commenting on the case, RP Chief Mr Jeyaretnam emphasized that it has been nearly three years since Ng was arrested, raising concerns about the prolonged duration of the high-profile case.

He recalled an article he wrote in 2021 where he highlighted that Temasek’s General Counsel, Pek Siok Lan, was reportedly cheated of S$5.5 million in the nickel trading scam.

At the time, he expressed astonishment at the situation, questioning how someone in such a senior position could fall victim to a scam that should have raised alarm bells even for unsophisticated investors.

Mr Jeyaretnam highlighted concerns about Ms Pek’s role as General Counsel at Temasek, suggesting that her gullibility and indifference to her own money might reflect poorly on her ability to oversee the nation’s reserves.

In October 2022, Temasek announced management changes following Dilhan Pillay’s appointment as CEO. The article mentioned that Ms Pek would go on a sabbatical and assume a new role in July 2023.

A recent check on the Temasek website revealed that Ms Pek currently holds the position of Managing Director for Special Projects.

In a recent Facebook post on Wednesday, Mr Jeyaretnam reiterated his observations, criticising that the scam exposed the incompetence of highly-paid senior Temasek employees.

He sarcastically criticized that even a secondary school student should have realized that a promised quarterly gain of 15.5% when interest rates were close to zero was likely a scam, especially for those in charge of managing the $3 trillion in reserves.

“This puts me in mind of what a famous American conman told Saul Bellow, the Nobel laureate. He said he had never scammed an innocent man. His marks were people who wanted something for nothing. Instead, he gave them “nothing for something”. ”

Mr Jeyaretnam also expressed scepticism about the delay in bringing the case to trial and contrasted this delay with the swift conviction of Sam Bankman-Fried in the United States, in which the FTX scandal was exposed in November 2022, and Sam was convicted one year later on seven federal counts, including fraud and money laundering.

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They weave and weave stories after stories. Write one script, rewrite, revised till the Chief is satisfied.

Looks like James Bond 007 also flabbergasted, not least stakeholsers, citizens of Sheep land must be wondering WHAT SORT of LIES to spin and put out in citizens owned but PAP controlled newspapers.

because 5 mil is peanuts to the peanut counting management? but most likely the nickel fatso might have connections to rich pappies. otherwise how cum can still afford to bail out when he’s bankrupt?

It’s normal lah…look at Izzy case also all hide hide. Must be connecting dots that need to erase before other names get implicated. If you’re an ordinary layman, tomorrow you’ll be in court and have the book thrown at you. But ehem ehem if you’ve been up to something else? Must ensure a smooth clean cut with deals struck beforehand.

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