The SEC received a complaint from a foreign investor that he had been solicited by the financial and investment consultants of Bangkok-based EMM Consulting to invest his pension fund in order to gain tax benefits and long-term returns.
The investor followed their advice and incurred losses as a result.
Owner of EMM Consulting Alan Lane, and Ratanaporn Aoonta, whose role is unknown, have been reported to the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) of the Royal Thai Police.
According to the SEC: “The said company and persons are not licensed to operate securities business in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Act of 1992. Their actions are in violation of Section 90 and liable to the penalties under Section 289.”
If convicted, Lane and Aoonta face up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of between THB0.2m (£3,948, $5,718, €5,072) and THB0.5m, plus a daily fine of THB10,000 until the matter is resolved.
Attempts by International Adviser to contact the company were unsuccessful, as EMM’s phone number has been disconnected and the compay’s website appears to have been shut down.
Uptick in activity
Five firms have been reported to the ECD in the past two months for operating without the required licence, representing a significant uptick in activity for the regulator.
Two British nationals were reported in separate incidents in February, while two firms were referred for investigation in early March.
In October 2015, the SEC announced that it would be stepping up its supervision of financial intermediaries.
The Thai investment industry continues to be tarred with the brush of the LM Investment Management scandal, which saw thousands of investors lose their money when the firm entered voluntary administration in 2013.
Investors in the scheme are continuing to fight, with on action group securing the support of the British Embassy in October last year.