(Bloomberg) -- Singapore-based remittance firm Samlit Moneychanger Pte. is being investigated for offenses including suspected fraudulent trading, marking the most significant development yet in a fund-freeze scandal in the city-state. 

A probe into a 43-year-old woman and 34-year-old man, who are respectively the director and compliance manager of Samlit, has started Friday, according to a joint statement by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the city-state’s police.

The firm, which Bloomberg News earlier reported was sued by clients after police in China froze money they had sent home from Singapore, was under inspection by the MAS. While this was ongoing, Samlit told the regulator on Feb. 20 that it planned to surrender its payments services license and discontinue its business.

“Reports were also received about unusual transfer activities in Samlit’s corporate bank accounts and its director’s personal bank account,” the statement said. “MAS regrets that Samlit has not taken a more responsible course of action but has chosen to surrender its licence at this time.”

At the end of last year, Singapore’s regulator ordered remittance companies in the city to halt the use of non-bank and non-card channels when transmitting money to China. The move followed hundreds of complaints that remittances to China through Singapore were frozen, with almost two-thirds of the reports linked to Samlit. 

Given Samlit’s sudden surrender of its license, the MAS has taken steps to secure the funds in Samlit’s corporate bank accounts, including directing the firm to seek approval for any fund withdrawals and transfers, according to the statement. The secured funds are sufficient to meet Samlit’s uncompleted remittance obligations, it said.

The authorities “understand the frustrations faced by the affected remitters and urge the affected remitters to seek redress within the legal framework of Singapore,” according to the statement. 

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