(Adds statement from LionGold in paragraph 4-6)
SINGAPORE April 2 Executives of companies owned by Blumont Group Ltd and LionGold Corp, Singapore-listed firms at the centre of a penny-stock crash last year, are being investigated by a white-collar crime police unit, the companies said on Wednesday.
Share prices in Blumont, LionGold and Asiasons Ltd crashed last October, wiping out around S$8 billion ($6.35 billion) in market value in just two days after huge run-ups. The scandal led to a series of proposed reforms to the city-state's stock trading rules.
Blumont said that its subsidiary, G1 Investments, had been contacted by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the police force and has been asked for all corporate electronic data from January 2011 relating to its executive chairman, Neo Kim Hock, and executive director James Hong.
In a statement to Singapore's stock exchange on Wednesday, Blumont, which mainly invests in mining assets, said the investigation is in relation to an offence under the Securities and Futures Act without giving any further details. Hong has also been asked to assist the CAD directly, it said.
No information was immediately available from the police.
LionGold Corp Ltd said its subsidiary, LionGold Investments Pte Ltd, and the company has been informed by the CAD of a similar investigation.
LionGold has received a notice from the CAD on corporate data belonging to Lynne Ng Su Ling, a non-executive, independent director of LionGold, and Peter Chen Hing Woon, an employee.
The CAD's notice requires LionGold to provide all corporate electronic data of Ng and Chen from January 2011 to now, the company said.
"CAD has not given any further details of its investigations. So far, the board is not aware if any offence has been committed and has not heard from Lynne Ng Su Ling or Peter Chen Hing Woon in respect of the investigations," LionGold said. The company could not be immediately reached by Reuters.
In separate statements, both Blumont and LionGold said their businesses and operations are not affected by the investigations and will continue as normal.
Blumont's chairman, Alexander Molyneux, could not be reached for comment and the public relations agency that acts for the company had no comment on the developments. ($1 = 1.2591 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Rachel Armstrong, Anshuman Daga and Andrew Toh; Editing by Matt Driskill and Elaine Hardcastle)