A group of 15 investors chased a dishonest businessman all over the island yesterday in a bid to get back their money.
After 54 year-old swindler Mr Simon Ng failed to show up at an agreed meeting with his investors at Geylang Lorong 41 in the afternoon, the angry investors traveled to his Toa Payoh flat and confronted him, before showing up at his lawyer’s Changi office.
Ng, a Singaporean, had collected $1.37 million from around 20 people since last year. To convince people to invest in his “business”, he flew investors to expensive overseas seminars on all-expenses-paid trips in Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
Last week, investors hired debt collection agency JMS Rogers to chase Ng for their money. The debt collectors had accompanied the investors to Ng’s Toa Payoh flat at about 2PM. When they knocked on the door, a woman answered and told them that Ng was not at home and called the police.
When police arrived, Ng emerged from hiding in his flat and told police officers that he was being harassed by debt collectors. He claims that he had lodged a similar report last week.
When Ng tried to leave for his lawyer’s office in Changi, investors confronted him at the carpark near his flat, demanding to know what happened to the money. A video of the incident has been posted online.
In the video, he told investors that the multi-level marketing scheme had fallen through, adding in Mandarin, “I’m a victim too. I lost $100,000 investing in the scheme.”
He repeated his explanation outside of his lawyer’s Changi office when investors approached him again 2 hours later. The group lingered into the night, with the situation looking no closer to a settlement.
“We want an explanation,” said 40 year-old former security officer C. G. Lim, who quit his job because Ng had convinced him that he would earn more from the scheme. “I was trying to provide a better life for my wife and 2 children. I even got my mother to invest.”
58 year-old Madam Normah Ahmed was also cheated of her life savings of $30,000. She had hoped that the scheme could fund her medical expenses, which range from $1,000 to $5,000 a month.
“I did not want to burden my children with the financial burden, so I invested my hard-earned money, hoping I could be self-sufficient,” she said.