Four executives of a Singaporean company that solicited investments in Japan were arrested on suspicion of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act for conducting investment-related business without registration.

In the investigation so far, it is estimated that the company has collected 135 billion yen from approximately 26,000 people across the country, and police are investigating the detailed flow of funds.

Those arrested were all executives of the Singaporean company "SKY PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL," which solicited foreign investment products to Japanese investors, including CEO Atsushi Saito (45), There are four people, including the person in charge in Japan, Shinobu Mizushima (59).

According to the police, from 2019 to 2021, the company is suspected of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act by brokering investment contracts without registration for six men and women in Fukuoka and Hiroshima prefectures.

Civil lawsuits have been filed in various places regarding this company due to non-refund of invested capital, and the police have also been contacted one after another about damage, so the police headquarters of six prefectures, including Fukuoka, Hiroshima, and Osaka, are jointly conducting an investigation. I was there.

According to the police, the total amount of money collected by the company is estimated to be 135 billion yen from approximately 26,000 people in 47 prefectures over the eight years up to 2021.

In addition, the company explained that the collected funds would be used for "FX trading" to buy and sell foreign currencies, but we could only confirm that the funds were transferred to an account in the company's name in Hong Kong, and that the funds were actually transferred to an account in the company's name in Hong Kong. The police are currently investigating the detailed flow of funds and operational status, as it is unclear whether the facility was in operation or not.

Police have not disclosed the identity of the four people.

A woman who invested said, "Maybe I felt like I was clinging to her."

A woman from Fukuoka Prefecture who registered and invested in the "SKY PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL" membership site responded to an interview with NHK.

According to the woman, she registered on a membership site and started investing in the summer of 2020, when social and economic activities were being affected by the spread of the new coronavirus.

Her interest in investing increased as the company she runs with her husband suffered deteriorating business results, and she used savings to fund working capital in order to keep employees employed and continue the business.

Regarding her state of mind at that time, the woman said, ``I was using my children's educational insurance and employer's pension for working capital, and I was worried that if things continued like this, the company might go bankrupt.I started to feel desperate. Maybe,” he said.

She received solicitations and advice from a solicitor called an ``agent'' whom she met through an introduction from her friend, who told her that ``you can definitely increase your income by 10% a month.'' Initially, she transferred 2.5 million yen to the designated account. I did.

She said that she believed that the asset management status was displayed on a site that only members who had signed an investment contract could log in to, and that she was making a profit.

Even after that, she continued to follow the instructions of the "agent," with whom she befriended by inviting her to golf events and lunch parties, and the amount of money she and her husband deposited together amounted to 17.5 million yen.

However, as the company was ordered by the court to cease operations, the company applied for a refund of the invested funds, but when the funds were not returned, the company filed a civil lawsuit against the agents seeking compensation for damages.

The woman said, ``I feel sorry for my family. I wonder what they did with the money, which was important for me to continue my self-employment. I hope it comes back," he said.

“Agents” Approximately 500 recruiters

According to an investigation conducted by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission three years ago, "SKY PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL" is a foreign corporation based in Singapore that was established in 2013. It is said that he was soliciting and providing advice on overseas investment products.

The company, through its approximately 500 solicitors called agents, holds investment seminars at venues all over the country and online, introducing investment products that only members can contract. The company has raised approximately 120 billion yen from 22,000 investors.

According to a civil court complaint filed by an investor, the ``agent'' ``employs financial professionals,'' ``has never had a negative monthly interest rate,'' and ``has a track record of annual interest rates of 15% to 20%.'' He explained that it is a highly safe investment that can be expected to yield high yields.

According to an investigation by the Supervisory Board, the company explained to customers that the collected funds would be managed in an account at the Czechoslovak Trade Bank and used for FX transactions, but this bank account did not exist. In addition to the funds being transferred to the accounts of multiple other overseas corporations, it was not possible to confirm whether FX transactions had taken place, and it was determined that the ``actual status of the operation and management of the investment funds is unknown.''

For this reason, the Surveillance Committee applied for an injunction to suspend operations based on the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, and the Tokyo District Court ordered the prohibition or suspension of operations three years ago in December 2021.