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Upset Chinese investors hold hostage USGFX staff in Shanghai

Jul 24 2017
By
Jonathan Smith

Chinese investors who allegedly lost $2.6 million in forex trading have occupied the Shanghai office of Australian forex brokerage Union Standard Group Forex (USGFX) and are holding several staff members hostage.

 

According to Financial Times, quoting USGFX WeChat account, last Wednesday up to 50 investors went into the company office demanding their money back. Initially the angry clients, who reportedly are unarmed, took hostage 20 employees of USGFX, but eventually released the majority. Three USGFX staff members, however, were still being held hostage as of Friday.

 

Chinese media report that food and water has been taken to the hostages and that one of them has suffered minor injuries in a scuffle with the assailants.

 

Justin Pooni, marketing manager for USGFX, said nothing like this had ever happened before and the company was working with the Chinese authorities. “It’s a very strange and bizarre situation,” he told Australian media. “We’re hoping for the best.”

 

Financial Times, however, notes that however weird the story is, Chinese investors have a penchant for get-rich-fast schemes and get very upset when it does not work, often fighting back and taking matters into their own hands. In 2015, for example, an investor stabbed the chief of a Beijing-based asset management company, after he lost money.

 

As of writing this article, it is yet unclear whether the hostage situation has been resolved. USGFX, however, denies the allegations that it has defrauded investors and said in WeChat that it has given its clients detailed information and explanations, but they have not accepted them. Instead, the clients want full compensation. “USGFX will not accept, nor compromise”, said the brokerage, quoted by Financial Times.

 

USGFX is based in Sydney and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. The broker also has offices in Hong Kong, Auckland and Shanghai.

 

 

TAGS: usgfx  shanghai  australia  china 

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