Singaporeans who invested with crypto-trading platform Torque lose life savings

From Shin Min Daily News Published on 2021 Apr 6 and 2021 Mar 22

The crypto-trading platform suddenly liquidated, and global investors estimated that a total of more than 400 million would be lost. More than 2,000 Singaporean were affected, and one of the Singapore women lost 2.5 million.

One of the investors, Ms. Wu (48-year-old customer service staff), called the 24-hour hotline of Shin Min Daily News, saying that she started investing in digital money through a friend’s introduction in June last year. She invested S$300 at the beginning and doubled after 3 months. The previous investment was S$15,000. She revealed that she invested Ethereum on her own by logging in to the mobile application of Torque Trading, a locally registered investment company.

The good times didn’t last long. The CEO of the investment company announced in February this year that the company had suffered losses due to improper investment and notified members to give them time to draw up a refund plan.

“Later, the company asked her to give them time to refund, but so far there is no answer.”

She revealed that the investment company explained that a staff member was involved in improper handling of funds, which caused the loss. “My account is frozen, and there are still about US$23,000 dollars (about S$30,000) in the account that cannot be traded and cashed out.”

However, before the company’s liquidate, Ms. Wu had already cashed in the return income, totaling S$10,000, but after deducting the cost, she still lost S$5,000.

Another sufferer, Jenny (in her 50s, self-employed, under a pseudonym), revealed in an interview with The Straits Times that she joined the platform in 2019 and invested 2.5 million, including the investment of her Mother-in-law and Father-in-law. Around S$200,000. She revealed that the money was earned from investing in real estate for more than 20 years. Since the platform ceased operation, she still dares not disclose this to her family.

” Mother-in-law and Father-in-law is very old, and the money is their life savings. I’m afraid they won’t be able to bear the blow after hearing the news.”

According to a notice issued to investors by the liquidation company on the 31st of last month, the liquidator discovered that some of the crypto assets were transferred without proper authorization from the company’s former chief technology officer.

The liquidator successfully applied to the High Court on March 19 this year to prohibit the former chief technology officer from handling his local or overseas assets of up to US$343.7 million (approximately S$461 million).

The notice also stated that the liquidator is reviewing billions of transaction records and is also investigating the company’s management and related personnel.

A spokesperson for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that “Torque” has not obtained a MAS license or approval to provide financial services locally.

Therefore, the MAS cannot respond to this company. Those who intend to inquire about the list of financial companies approved by the MAS can check on the MAS website (https://eservices.mas.gov.sg/fid).

Regardless of whether the financial company is operating under the license of the MAS, it is illegal to conduct fraudulent business in our country.

“As far as we know, investors have reported to the police against Torque.”

When questioned, the police confirmed that they were paying attention to the incident.

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