Enforcement Actions Media Releases
Published Date: 23 February 2024

Two Investigated for Suspected Fraudulent Trading and Suspected Failure to Comply with Obligations as a Licensed Payment Services Provider

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Singapore, 23 February 2024… On 23 February 2024, the Police and Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) jointly commenced investigations into a 43-year-old woman and 34-year-old man, who are the Director and Compliance Manager of Samlit Moneychanger Pte. Ltd. (“Samlit”) respectively, for their suspected involvement in Samlit carrying on a business for a fraudulent purpose and suspected failure to comply with various obligations as a licensed payment services provider.

2. Following reports that beneficiaries in China of remittance transactions made in Singapore through Samlit were unable to access the remitted monies because they had been frozen or confiscated by the authorities in China, MAS commenced an inspection of Samlit.

3. Samlit, however, has not been forthcoming in providing the information required by MAS and has not satisfactorily explained the purported remittance fund flows. While MAS’ inspection was ongoing, Samlit notified MAS on 20 February 2024 of its intention to surrender its payment services licence and discontinue its business. Reports were also received about unusual transfer activities in Samlit’s corporate bank accounts and its Director’s personal bank account.

4. In light of the new information received, the Police and MAS have launched a joint investigation against Samlit for suspected fraudulent trading under Section 238(4) of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018, as well as suspected failure to comply with various obligations as a licensed payment services provider under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2022 and the Payment Services Act 2019. MAS has also taken steps to secure the funds in Samlit’s corporate bank accounts, including directing Samlit to seek approval for any fund withdrawals and transfers. This is necessary given the circumstances surrounding Samlit’s sudden surrender of licence. The secured funds are sufficient to meet Samlit’s uncompleted remittance obligations.

5. The offence of fraudulent trading under Section 238(4) of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018 carries a punishment of a fine of up to S$15,000, or an imprisonment term of up to seven years, or both. The punishment for offences under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2022 and the Payment Services Act 2019 ranges from a fine of up to S$12,500 to S$1 million (with further fines for continuing offences, if applicable), and imprisonment for a term of up to 12 months, or both.

6. These investigations are separate from and do not affect any potential private claims by remitters against Samlit. In the meantime, MAS has directed Samlit to continue to provide relevant documentation to affected remitters to facilitate their appeal to law enforcement agencies in China regarding the unfreezing of their beneficiaries’ accounts, even after the surrender of its licence.

7. MAS regrets that Samlit has not taken a more responsible course of action but has chosen to surrender its licence at this time. Samlit remains a licensee under the Payment Services Act 2019 until 29 February 2024. MAS has directed Samlit to ensure that beneficiaries of uncompleted remittance transactions receive the funds within seven business days, even after the surrender of its licence. If the funds are not received by a beneficiary within seven business days, Samlit is required to contact the remitter immediately for further instructions. Samlit is also required to properly discharge all outstanding obligations, including making adequate provisions for unforeseen liabilities, prior to winding down.

8. The authorities understand the frustrations faced by the affected remitters and urge the affected remitters to seek redress within the legal framework of Singapore. The Police will not hesitate to take enforcement action against anyone who breaks the law in Singapore, including the organisation of or participation in a public assembly without a Police permit.

9. The Government will be reaching out this weekend to the affected remitters who had remitted monies through Samlit to share more information with them.



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