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Published Date: 20 May 2024

MAS Issues Prohibition Order Against Mr Muhammad Hafiz Bin Ismail for Dishonest Conduct

Singapore, 20 May 2024… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a 5-year prohibition order (PO) against Mr Muhammad Hafiz Bin Ismail, a former representative of DBS Bank Limited (DBS). The PO was issued following Mr Hafiz’s conviction for intentionally obstructing the course of justice by the State Courts, and separate contraventions of the Financial Advisers Act (FAA) and the Securities and Futures Act (SFA). 

2 Under the PO, which took effect from 20 May 2024, Mr Hafiz is prohibited from providing any financial advisory service, and from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder, of any financial advisory firm under the FAA. He is also prohibited from performing any regulated activity and from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder, of any capital markets services firm under the SFA.

3 In January 2018, the Police informed Mr Hafiz that his uncle had been arrested for theft-related offences. Mr Hafiz then directed his colleague to move a safe belonging to his uncle from Mr Hafiz’s business premises, to prevent the Police from locating the safe. For his actions, Mr Hafiz was convicted on 25 May 2022 of one count of abetting an offence of intentionally obstructing the course of justice under section 204A read with section 108B and section 109 of the Penal Code. He was sentenced to 1 week’s imprisonment. 

4 In addition, on 8 September 2020, while under investigation by the Police for the above-mentioned offence, Mr Hafiz applied to be a wealth planning manager with DBS but failed to state in his fit and proper declaration to DBS that he was under investigation. DBS then relied on his response in the declaration to certify to MAS that he was fit and proper to be a representative of the bank. By wilfully omitting such pertinent information in his declaration, Mr Hafiz has contravened section 23L(2)(b) of the FAA, and section 99O(2)(b) of the SFA.

5 Mr Hafiz’s conviction and contraventions have given MAS reason to believe that he will not perform financial advisory and capital markets services honestly. While Mr Hafiz is no longer an appointed representative in Singapore, the PO was issued against him to safeguard the integrity of and trust in Singapore’s financial sector.

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Additional information

Section 204A of the Penal Code (Cap. 224, Rev Ed 2008)

Under this section, whoever intentionally obstructs, prevents, perverts or defeats the course of justice shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 108B of the Penal Code (Cap. 224, Rev Ed 2008)

A person abets an offence within the meaning of this Code who abets an offence committed in Singapore notwithstanding that any or all of the acts constituting the abetment were done outside Singapore.

Section 109 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224, Rev Ed 2008)

Under this section, whoever abets any offence shall, if the act abetted is committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence.

Section 23L(2)(b) of the Financial Advisers Act (Chapter 110, Rev Ed 2007)

Any individual who, in connection with the lodgment by his principal of any document under section 23F —

(b) omits to state any matter or thing to his principal as a result of which the document is misleading in a material respect.

Section 99O of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289, Rev Ed 2006)

Any individual who, in connection with the lodgment by his principal of any document under section 99H —

(b) omits to state any matter or thing to his principal as a result of which the document is misleading in a material respect.