The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) has suspended the licence of a company — regulated by the Precious Stones and Precious Metals (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Act — run by a couple accused of taking S$32 million from hundreds of people but failing to deliver the luxury goods that had been ordered through them.
The couple later became uncontactable, prompting jilted customers to lodge police reports.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the business — named Tradenation — is currently the subject of an investigation by the Singapore police.
It had previously been registered as a precious stones and precious metals dealer on Apr. 2 and was regulated by the Registrar of Regulated Dealers.
However, the regulation was only for the purposes of stopping money-laundering and the financing of terrorism, a MinLaw spokesperson was quoted by ST as saying.
The spokesperson added that at the point of registration, there were no grounds to refuse Tradenation a licence.
Yet, the business — run by a husband and wife duo — is now under scrutiny after multiple people said they had paid money but did not receive goods in return.
One 37-year-old customer told Shin Min Daily News that he had handed over S$700,000 for six Rolex and Patek Philippe watches in either January or February 2022 — an order that was never fulfilled.
He was confident with placing this order as he had ordered a S$26,000 Rolex watch in 2021 and received the item after a month.
Along with other customers who had yet to receive their items, that customer was added to a Telegram group, where the couple allegedly threatened to withhold orders from those who made police reports.
The couple subsequently became uncontactable in June 2022.
“MinLaw has suspended Tradenation’s registration due to the ongoing police investigations. As police investigations are ongoing, we are unable to comment further,” said the MinLaw spokesperson according to ST.
“If Tradenation is found guilty of an offence following the police investigations, MinLaw will terminate the registration of Tradenation.”
Top image via Shin Min Daily News