Prospero Markets License Suspended: Laundering Probe

Prospero Market’s license was suspended as ASIC investigated financial lapses and money laundering. Clients Impacted

Home » Prospero Markets License Suspended: Laundering Probe

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has suspended the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license of Prospero Markets Pty Ltd, a retail FX and CFDs broker based in Australia. The suspension follows an administrative hearing in which ASIC found that Prospero Markets failed to lodge its annual financial statement and audit report for the financial year ending 30 June 2023 within the prescribed timeframe and in compliance with its AFS license conditions.

Surprisingly, ASIC did not refer to the earlier police raid on Prospero Markets’ offices or the subsequent arrest of its controlling shareholder and Managing Director, Ding (Dean) Wang. The suspension prohibits Prospero Markets from providing financial services from December 20, 2023, until February 28, 2024. Moreover, Prospero has provided an undertaking to ASIC, agreeing not to deal in client funds without the regulator’s permission.

While ASIC’s official statement didn’t mention the police raid, it did indicate that if Prospero fails to submit its financial documents during the suspension period, ASIC will consider further action, including a possible extension of the suspension or license cancellation.

Prospero Markets License Suspended as ASIC Investigates Money Laundering

Prospero Markets caters primarily to Chinese-speaking clients in Australia and the Far East. The company’s license suspension coincides with an ongoing investigation by ASIC into suspected contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001, dating back to March 1, 2021.

This recent development comes in the wake of a broader crackdown on a China-based money laundering ring. In November, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested seven members of an alleged Chinese organized crime syndicate involved in a multi-billion-dollar money-remitting chain known as Changjiang Currency Exchange. Ding (Dean) Wang, listed as the sole director of CJ Prime Financial, the ultimate holding company of Prospero Markets, was among those arrested.

The AFP raided Prospero Markets’ offices in late October, and the company’s bank accounts were frozen. While the AFP did not explicitly link Changjiang Currency Exchange to Prospero Markets, reports suggest that individuals arrested in connection with the money laundering syndicate also had ties to Prospero Markets.

Prospero Markets is currently assisting ASIC with its investigation, and the company has the option to apply for a review of ASIC’s decision to suspend its AFS license through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Prospero Markets promptly informs clients of frozen bank accounts and actively works to resolve the issue. The unfolding situation underscores the interconnected nature of financial investigations and regulatory actions in the international landscape.

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