HIGH RETURNS PROMISED:
Nine people were indicted, with prosecutors saying GTIC Holdings made illegal profits of more than NT$37.2 million from Taiwanese investors
By Jason Pan / Staff reporter
Staff at GTIC Holdings (金品軒集團), including its Singaporean owner, Victor Soh (蘇珖量), and general manager Lo Lee-chee (羅湘盈), a Chinese-Malaysian, were yesterday indicted for allegedly operating illegal financial schemes that promised high returns for investing in gold and precious metals.
Soh’s business activities cover Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries.
Taipei prosecutors said evidence showed that GTIC’s operations contravened Taiwan’s business laws, with illegal profits of more than NT$37.2 million (US$1.34 million) made from Taiwanese investors.
Screen grab from the GTIC Gold Refinery Co Web Site
Soh and his girlfriend Lo, who reportedly obtained Taiwanese citizenship through long-term residency, made a profit of more than NT$70 million in Taiwan, by offering shares of two unlisted GTIC companies on over-the-counter markets, they said.
Investigators said Soh, Lo and GTIC executives targeted the Chinese-speaking population in China and Southeast Asia.
Taipei prosecutors also indicted seven other GTIC staff members, including chief financial officer Lai Chien-cheng (賴建成), e-commerce head Lee Ping-hua (李秉樺), business education head Hsu Ming-te (許明德), accountant Chou Ching-hsuan (周靜萱), an executive secretary surnamed Chang (張), and two sales managers surnamed Lin (林) and Wu (吳).
They were charged with contravening the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法) and the Banking Act (銀行法).
The illegal schemes were based on the promise of high returns for investing in gold and precious metals.
Soh allegedly said his conglomerate owned and operated GTIC Gold Refinery Co, as well as authorized oil companies in the United Arab Emirates, and had joint ventures with two major mining companies in Canada and gold trading firms in China.
According to the company’s Web site, GTIC is an international conglomerate headquartered in Singapore, with major gold, precious metal and petroleum trading businesses.
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