Second conviction for market misconduct under the joint investigations arrangement with the Commercial Affairs Department
Singapore, 22 January 2018… Mok Piak Liang (Mok) was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment on 19 January 2018 as a result of a conviction arising from a joint investigation conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force. The State Courts of Singapore convicted Mok for false trading under Section 197(1)(b) of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA). This case was referred by the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd.
2 Between 24 September 2014 and 27 November 2014, Mok purchased shares of Wilton Resources Corporation Ltd (Wilton) at the close of trading hours on 13 separate trading days to alter the closing price of Wilton shares. The purchases artificially pushed up the price of Wilton shares, with increases ranging between 5.9% and 22.8% from the previous traded price. The purchases also set the closing price of Wilton shares on all the 13 trading days. Mok’s purchases thus created a false appearance with respect to the price of Wilton shares
3 During the relevant period, Mok had pledged nearly 29.5 million Wilton shares, which were held in his name, towards margin facilities with two financial institutions. If Wilton’s share price were to fall below the margin value, Mok would have needed to top up the margin level in his margin accounts within a timeline as specified by the financial institutions. Instead of paying these margin top-up payments, Mok chose to push up the closing share price of Wilton shares.
4 On 20 October 2017, Mok was charged in the State Courts with 13 charges under Section 197(1)(b) of the SFA. On 19 January 2018, Mok pleaded guilty to four of these charges and agreed to have the remaining nine charges taken into account by the court for the purpose of sentencing.
5 Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), MAS, said: “MAS takes a serious view on any form of false trading and manipulation. Such conduct disrupts genuine price discovery and undermines market integrity, and is prohibited under our securities laws. MAS will not hesitate to take action against anyone who engages in such conduct.”
Notes to Editor
Section 197(1)(b) of the SFA
Under section 197(1)(b) of the SFA, no person shall do any thing, cause any thing to be done or engage in any course of conduct, if his purpose, or any of his purposes, for doing that thing, causing that thing to be done or engaging in that course of conduct, as the case may be, is to create a false or misleading appearance with respect to the market for, or the price of, such securities.
Joint investigations arrangement between MAS and CAD
The joint investigations arrangement between MAS and CAD for market misconduct offences was put in place in March 2015. Under the new arrangement, MAS and CAD will jointly investigate all such potential offences from the outset, consolidating MAS and CAD’s investigative resources and expertise. Please refer to MAS and CAD’s joint media release on the arrangement, published on 17 March 2015, for more information.