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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it has successfully obtained higher civil penalties against Mr Wang Boon Heng (Wang) and Ms Foo Jee Chin (Foo) for contravening section 201(b) of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), which prohibits any conduct that operates as a fraud or deception in connection with the subscription, purchase or sale of securities.
At the material times, Wang, then an undischarged bankrupt, had conducted share trading for his own benefit, in the name of Foo and another person. Wang did so without the consent or authorisation of the relevant securities trading firms, namely DMG & Partners Pte Ltd (DMG) and UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd (UOBKH). Foo was aware that trades were being carried out by Wang on her accounts with DMG and UOBKH without the authorisation and/or consent of DMG and UOBKH.
On 8 March 2017, MAS had released a statement on the State Courts of Singapore’s ruling (State Courts) that Wang and Foo had contravened section 201(b) of the SFA and had the civil penalty of S$75,000 and S$50,000 imposed on Wang and Foo respectively.
MAS felt that the civil penalty quantum awarded by the State Courts did not adequately reflect the severity of the breaches and a higher civil penalty was needed to deter such misconduct. Accordingly, MAS appealed against the State Courts’ civil penalty orders (HC/DCA 6/2017) and, on 31 October 2017, successfully obtained higher civil penalties against Wang and Foo. In this regard, the High Court ordered that the civil penalty against Wang and Foo be raised to S$150,000 and S$75,000 respectively. Wang and Foo were further ordered to pay MAS S$21,000 for the legal costs and disbursements incurred by MAS for the appeal.