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Investors receive restitution in full

26 Sep 02

The Financial Services Commission ("FSC") announced today that, following the granting of a Restitution Order by the Supreme Court, it had reimbursed in full all those who had invested in shares in World Connect Limited through "Liberty Group Limited".

Eight investors, all residents of the United Kingdom, had been cold called over the telephone by individuals claiming to be employees of "Liberty Group Limited", a firm allegedly based in Gibraltar. They were offered shares in World Connect Limited. "Liberty Group Limited"is not a Gibraltar-registered company. Investigation revealed that no company of that name had a place of business in Gibraltar. Moreover, no company of that name had ever been authorised to carry on investment business from Gibraltar.

Following Court and other action, funds have been assembled sufficient for the FSC to return to all investors the funds they had paid to "Liberty Group Limited", and to reimburse the FSC's legal costs. Investors are receiving sums ranging from £3,500 to £10,500.

The FSC, with assistance where necessary from other authorities in Gibraltar, will seek to take robust action against anyone offering, or holding itself out as offering financial services or products from Gibraltar without due authorisation. Modern communications systems, however, make it easy for people to appear to be operating in one jurisdiction when they are actually physically located elsewhere. Potential investors approached by people claiming to operate from Gibraltar are urged to consult the FSC's website (www.fsc.gi) or to consult the FSC directly as to whether any entity is licensed.

The FSC would like to acknowledge the close co-operation of the Royal Gibraltar Police Financial Crime Unit in pursuing this investigation.


Notes to Editors

1. Any persons carrying on financial services business in or from within Gibraltar must be authorised by the Commission to do so. Investment business is subject to the requirements of the Financial Services Acts 1989 and 1998. The latter Act implements the EU Investment Services Directive. It is an offence for any person to hold himself out as offering investment services if he does not have the necessary authorisation or licence.

2. The Commission publishes lists of authorised, or licensed firms or institutions on its website. These are updated quarterly.