The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) released a statement today (2 January) saying that it has “seized a total of S$1588.35 from the bank accounts of PLA during the course of our investigation”.
The statement was shared by the CEO of Empower Advisory, Douglas Chow, on his Facebook page.
He said, “It is believed there are between 100 and 400 duped PLA investors in Singapore, with investment amounts ranging from between S$7, 000 and S$160, 000. Total damage foes into many millions”.
However, Mr Chow said that despite hearing a good news, this is still considered a “hollow victory” as nothing much is left to be recovered after so many years of investigation by CAD.
PLA came into the spotlight in 2011 when its Hong Kong office hit the headline in the territory for alleged investment scam. Soon after, Singapore investors also went searching for answers about their investment but to no avail.
According to an article by TODAY, it is revealed that “an automated reply sent to investors who emailed the company, the Singapore branch of PLA is ‘currently in the midst of handling a legal issue pertaining to our business partner in Hong Kong”.
The article further added that, “its Hong Kong office chief executive and director is ‘suspected of fraud’, and the firm’s Singapore and Malaysia branches have reported the matter to ‘relevant authorities and are cooperating with the police and related departments’ to resolve the issue”.
After this post was shared on Mr Chow’s Facebook page, some netizens questioned the speed of the police in handling this matter.
Facebook user Robin Venice Phua said that the enforcement moved too slow and “they don’t have the creativity to snag the culprit”. He went on further to say “there are so many scams and loansharking taking place in Singapore. Singapore so small and surveillance everywhere, I can’t really fathom what is holding the enforcement back”.
Lawrence Leathersmith Ku also commented that “the longer they stall, the higher chances the perpetrators get to escape the law, without any suspects to arrest, there’s less paperwork and overall less work for investigators. Can very easily close the case”.