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S$1b Envy Global nickel investment case: Ex-director gets more charges involving S$284 million

S$1b Envy Global nickel investment case: Ex-director gets more charges involving S$284 million

Ng Yu Zhi arriving at the State Courts on Apr 20, 2021. (Photo: TODAY/Ili Nadhirah Mansor)

SINGAPORE: A businessman at the centre of fraud allegations linked to a billion-dollar nickel investment scheme was handed additional charges involving more than S$284 million on Monday (Jun 28).

Former managing director of commodities trader Envy Global Trading Ng Yu Zhi, 34, was given 12 new charges of cheating and one count of criminal breach of trust as a director.

Ng is accused of dishonestly misappropriating at least S$201.2 million from Envy Global Trading's DBS bank account between August 2020 and February 2021.

Among his new named victims are Ms Pek Siok Lan, who is listed as general counsel on Temasek's website. She was allegedly cheated into giving S$5.5 million to Envy Global Trading for four receivables purchase agreements between October 2020 and January 2021.

Another victim is criminal lawyer Sunil Sudheesan, who was allegedly cheated in an arrangement involving more than S$1 million between October 2020 and January 2021.

Court documents say Mr Sudheesan was deceived by Ng into believing he was purchasing a proportion of the total receivables which Envy Global Trading was to receive from a company named Raffemet over the sale of nickel briquettes.

Ng is also accused of cheating former Law Society president Thio Shen Yi of S$87,150 between October 2020 and December 2020 for a similar scheme.

READ: Businessman in billion-dollar nickel investment fraud case faces new cheating charges involving S$8 million

Ng was first charged in March over the fraud allegations. He ran Envy Global Trading and Envy Asset Management, raising money from investors to purchase nickel and allegedly tricking investors to buy in to a portion of receivables from the sale through forward contracts.

Investors were promised varying returns, averaging 15 per cent every three months, the police said in a previous statement.

The prosecution earlier said that Ng's companies did not purchase any nickel and the forward contracts did not exist.

Ng's companies owe investors at least S$1 billion, according to a previous court hearing.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore flagged Ng's companies to the Commercial Affairs Department in November 2020.

He is out on bail of S$1.5 million and will return to court for a bail review application, sought by the prosecution, next month.

If convicted of cheating, Ng faces up to 10 years’ jail per charge and a fine. For each charge of fraudulent trading, he could be jailed for up to seven years, fined up to S$15,000, or both.

The penalties for criminal breach of trust as a director are a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine.

Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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