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MAS investigating Samlit for allegedly failing to remit money to China

The money changer is suspected of failing to comply with obligations as a licensed payment service provider.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the police are investigating the director and compliance manager of Samlit Moneychanger for suspected involvement in fraudulent trading and suspected failure to comply with obligations as a licensed payment service provider.

The two– a 43-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man– are being investigated 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.

This follows after reports that beneficiaries in China of remittance transactions made in Singapore through Samlit failed to get the remitted monies. This was, in turn, reportedly due to authorities in China freezing or confiscating said monies, MAS said.

MAS alleged that Samlit had not been forthcoming in providing information it required. 

On 20 February, Samlit notified MAS 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, MAS said in a statement.

MAS had since taken steps to secure the funds in Samlit’s corporate bank accounts, including directing Samlit to seek approval for any fund withdrawals and transfers. The secured funds are sufficient to meet Samlit’s uncompleted remittance obligations, MAS said.

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 offenses 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$1m; imprisonment for a term of up to 12 months; or both.

The government will also be reaching out this weekend to the affected remitters who had remitted monies through Samlit to share more information with them, MAS said in its statement.

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