By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, March 25 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Malaysian businessman Soh Chee Wen pleaded not guilty Monday to 189 charges on the first day of his long-awaited trial over the penny stock crash about six years ago which cleansed S$8 billion (about RM24 billion) from the Singapore share market.
His partner, Quah Su-Ling, also pleaded not guilty to 178 charges before High Court Judge Hoo Sheau Peng.
Soh, 59, and Quah, 54, have been charged with orchestrating a massive fraud to manipulate the market over the shares of Blumont Group Ltd, Asiasons Capital Limited and LionGold Corp Ltd between August 2012 and October 2013.
Charges had also been tendered against Goh Hin Calm, a key accomplice of Soh and Quah.
Goh, 59, however, had on March 20, 2019, pleaded guilty to two of six charges of aiding and abetting Soh and Quah.
He was sentenced to jail terms of three years for each of those charges, which will run concurrently.
It was made to understand that Goh’s decision to plead guilty may turn him as a prosecution witness.
When the alleged offences took place, Quah was a director and the CEO of IPCO International Ltd while Goh was the senior finance and administration manager of IPCO.
The first 10 charges against Soh and Quah fall under Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and Section 109 of the Penal Code.
It is learned that this is the largest market manipulation case in Singapore’s history.