Martin Lee @ Sg
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Agarwood Trees Investment

Have you ever been invited to a pitch for Agarwood trees investment?

I received a call the other day from a company “Eco Global Network” inviting me for a “Go Green” campaign. It was supposed to be a talk to spread awareness on environmental issues and as an incentive for attending the 1-hr session, I would be given some NTUC vouchers.

agarwood treesI tried searching the internet for Eco Global Network but couldn’t find any information on the company. By searching the address, I managed to find the name of another company who were in the business of selling trees. I decided to attend anyway to find out what it was.

At the seminar location, the name of the company was not Eco Global Network but was that of the company that I found earlier. I was bought into a room at the stipulated time to wait for the speaker. I noticed that the room was not arranged in a proper seminar layout. Instead there were many tables with four chairs at each table.

A person T from the company came over to my table to sit with me. T was a rookie who had just joined the company two weeks ago. She explained that the speaker was late and sat down with us at the table to chat with me. The same thing happened at the other tables.

She started to ask personal questions which I was quite uncomfortable with. She was obviously trying to form a connection (one of the sales technique) but I was not in the least interested, knowing she was going to sell me something eventually.

I asked her whether she heard about Eco Global Network. She said she didn’t. She also said that the speaker was usually late but as their company had a existing contract with another company for the speaker, they couldn’t do much about it.

After some time, a manager came over to explain to us that the speaker was unable to come, and whether it was ok for T to brief us instead. I asked why not get one person to brief everyone at the same time. This was shot down with the explanation that a 1-on-1 presentation would be better. I suspected that there were no plans to have any speaker at all based on the way the seats were arranged.

T bought us to a corner to showed us some exhibits of Agarwood, and how expensive it is. A small vial (called a Tola) of oil produced from Agarwood could cost $900.

Finally, T started to talk about an investment opportunity.

A plot of land could grow 100 Agarwood trees. And each tree could produce 4 tola of oil after seven years.

If I bought a plot of land, we could generate 4 x 600 x 100 in revenue after 7 years. This was about $240,000.

Even at a lower projection of $400 per bottle, it still worked out to be $160,000. There was a 15% harvesting cost, so the net revenue would be $136,000.

And the cost of 1 plot of land? Each tree only costs $250, so a plot of land would cost only $25,000. This was a promotion price.

Which means I stand to make more than 5 times a return of my capital after 7 years.

To top it off, the company offered a buy back guarantee after 2 years. They would buy back the trees at $550 – $600 each if I wanted to sell after 2 years.

I think the returns projected by this company would put all the major agriculture companies to shame. 🙂

At the end of it all, came the magic question about how many trees I could afford to buy. I maintained my poker face and asked T straight in the face whether I could buy 1 tree. . Yes, just ONE tree to test out the investment and see whether it worked. The expression on her face was priceless. 😉

A manager came along and tried to sell me 25 trees. She explained that she could try to look for some leftover trees for me. The offer eventually dropped to just 10 tress after I pleaded that I had no money, given the high cost of HDB, etc.

So the final deal was 10 trees with a 5-10% initial deposit and a 5-day cooling day period. I told the manager I had to leave and would think about it. As a last ditch attempt, the manager asked whether I would be willing (as a mark of sincerity) to place my NTUC vouchers on hold with them and they would reserve the 10 tress for me.

I said no, took my vouchers and left.

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248 comments
arichandran says a few months ago

Thanks for your piece on APC Asia Pacific Capital. You were careful and avoided the hook to invest. I know of close to 100 investors since 2011, 2012, 2013…2015.. who are finding that they are not getting any tola of Oud oil at the end of 7 years ( for those in 2011 ) .

Examining the contract/agreement , it seems they have phrased a lop-sided Agreement. Do you of any Singapore investors who are in our position.

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Xgs says 11 months ago

Any more others who went to 4box Dynamics Pte Ltd at 82 Playfair Road #04-01?

Here’s others feedback from another site:
https://scamsg.com/company/201712154C

Suspicious. Went to their office, and they claim to be helping us recoup investment losses from Tropical Forestry Venture(s), by taking part in a class act, and they are engaged by Ong & Co LLC. When we questioned further, they got defensive and ushered us out of the office. Refused to give any name card, then got hostile.
2017-10-06 19:27:13 – Anonymous

I don’t think so because I went to their lawyer office and also I engage the lawyer service for my dad accident insurance claim.
2017-10-07 12:00:17 – Anonymous

Definitely a scam. Was approached by them to help chase after my invested amount from Reign Gainers. I asked them how they got my number, they said from the lawyers. I then asked who are your lawyers. The caller then put down the phone. Suspect they are good friends with Oommen Mathews, owner of scam company Reign Gainers.
2017-10-13 10:10:54 – Anonymous

They pressured me to sign an agreement to end my share termination with Desa Amanah Pte Ltd. They scared me that debtors will sue me as my name is in ACRA as a shareholder. I paid $2000. I decided not to continued as I am afraid nothing will happen if I pay the full amount of $5000. I couldn’t get my refund back. Warning to all. Their lawyer is Ong and Co LLC. My info got leak to them by somebody. He never tell me who.
2017-12-04 17:37:56 – Anonymous

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Xgs says last year

4box Dynamics Pte Ltd, RST Solutions Pte Ltd & 4Mind Ventures Pte Ltd SCAMS
https://imgur.com/a/OPmrsx3

12 May 2018
Recovery Room Scams

Recovery room scams typically involve cold-calls made to victims of a failed investment scheme, or owners of timeshare memberships. The callers would claim to offer assistance in obtaining compensation or recovery of monies on behalf of the victims, in exchange for some fees. Since January 2018, the Police have received at least 16 reports of such scams and victims have lost more than $96000.

After paying the fees, the victims did not get their monies as promised, and instead ended up incurring more losses in the form of fees they paid for the purported recovery process.

How Do You Spot a Recovery Room Operation?

a Recovery offers are often unsolicited and made via phone calls.

The scammers generally introduce themselves as recovery professionals, who are able to assist victims to recover their investment losses or the value of their existing timeshare memberships. They will often request to meet victims in person, and reveal little information over the phone.

b The office appears fairly empty.

The recovery firm will appear to be relatively empty or newly set-up. Such firms do not have proper operations and usually rent the office premises for a short period of time, solely for the purpose of meeting the victims. Other red flags would include firms which are either newly incorporated or not registered with ACRA.

c Victims will be asked to make upfront payments to begin the process of recovering failed investments or the value of their existing timeshare memberships.

These payments are variably termed as “legal fees”, “administrative fees”, “service fees” or other kind of fees. Some of the common recovery processes include helping victims to file lawsuits or issue letters of demand to the failed investment company or timeshare companies, provide debt collection services or sell the initial “investment/timeshare membership”. Subsequently, the recovery firm may request for additional payments, to further facilitate the recovery process.

How to Deal with Such Calls?

Members of the public are advised to be vigilant when receiving unsolicited calls from purported recovery firms, and should adopt the following crime prevention measures:

Be wary when an unknown person calls you regarding your investments or timeshare memberships, especially when you did not approach anyone to recover your investment monies;
Ignore such calls. Do not divulge your personal particulars or information on your investments to the callers;
Do not follow the instruction or invitation of the caller to call him back or to meet him in person;
Always check on the credibility and identity of the caller before making any financial commitments;
Conduct background checks on the company before engaging their services. For example, when was the company incorporated? Are there complaints against the company on the Internet? Does the company have a proven track record of delivering what they represented?

Request for a copy of the documentation on their proposals, representations, contracts and agreements. Be wary if the company is reluctant to provide you with such documentation and only provides verbal promises;

Exercise extra caution especially if you are asked to make upfront payments with the promise of assisting you to recover your monies.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
12 May 2018 @ 11:55AM

https://www.police.gov.sg/news-and-publications/media-releases/20180512_recovery_room_scams_o

They will send out this messages:

Dear Mr/Mdm XXX
Appointment Date: 26/8/2017
Time of appt: 3pm
Case: U Harvest Pte Ltd
Agreement No: UHXXXX/XXXXXXX
Contract Involved: 1
Address : 82 Playfair Road #04-01 S (368001).
Officer In Charge: Mr Andy.
Please kindly bring all your relevant documentation for verification purposes.
Thank You.

Those who went to 4box Dynamics Pte Ltd at 82 Playfair Road, please leave your email here or send email to those who had posted below. We will try to contact you.

Reply
Nur says last year

Minnie Han, Lindy Lim , Amanda Lim & U Harvest people …
Mr Ho Ngoc Vinh is looking for all of you, please contact him.

Reply
    Shu Yi Chan says last year

    Contract him for?

    Reply
      Nur says last year

      If you are Minnie Han or Lindy Lim or Amanda Lim better WhatsApp Mr Ho Ngoc Vinh immediately.

      You must be one of U Harvest people?

      Reply
Justin says last year

Dear all,

I had also invested in the agar wood trees with U Harvest. I just came across this forum.

This was what transpired…

1. Have lodged a police report. Status is currently under investigation.

2. Went for the “sharing” by 4box at their office last month. They said can help to retrieve back monies invested if get their assistance. But I didn’t proceed.

Would be happy to get in touch with other U Harvest agar wood investors so we can keep one another updated.

Do drop me an email at [email protected] so we can discuss further.

Thank you!

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Adeline says last year

Dear all, so sad to heard that some of you had been cheated and scammed by bad guys. I am lucky that I got back my investment 100% for 2 years that the plantation are in Laos. My friend who follow me invest and also got back her investment. Thanks GOD for all His provision.

Adeline

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sssvit says last year

Why don’t we all get together sometime and look into this case from recovery point of view. Don’t think individually we will reach anywhere.

It is very unfortunate that such things have happened, but we could always look for a solution

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    Justin says last year

    Hi,

    Yes I agree with you. Can you email me at [email protected] so we can group together to discuss?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    Charles Ho says last year

    I can join also, please keep me in a loop. my email: [email protected]

    Reply
      windjammer says last year

      I would like to join too thks

      Reply
        Al says last year

        Please leave your email so we can contact you.

        Reply
          windjammer says last year

          This is my email
          [email protected]

          Reply
P C says last year

Like Steve F said, you’ve been scammed.!!! He hit the nail on the head. Don’t waste yr time & money trying to recoup yr losses. U r throwing good money after bad!

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Steve F says last year

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/02/18/the-scam-of-all-scams-sucker-lists/#396bd9a14393

As the late great Alan Rickman said in Die Hard “hit them again”.
You have been scammed once, now the secondary scammers come round and try and take more from you. They will keep coming until you stop paying or go bust. I suggest stop paying. Its called a suckers list in the trade. Its been used in timeshare, land banking plots, oil sands, and now apparently “exotic ” trees. If you can’t get your money back from Vietnam they certainly can’t get it back for you or from you.

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Jghw80 says last year

Anyone have got any updates from the police?

Regards to TFV, Uharvest and RST yet?

Or receive letter of demand from any mentioned above?

Reply
    Nur says last year

    We are looking into the matter and will take the appropriate actions accordingly …
    As the matter is ongoing, We are unable to reveal our findings to you.

    Reply
      Nur says last year

      Minnie Han, Lindy Lim , Amanda Lim & U Harvest people …
      Mr Ho Ngoc Vinh is looking for all of you, please contact him.

      Reply
Nur says last year

This should help everyone here to recognize these U Harvest people who had been selling agarwood investment scheme, they are visiting this blog and hope can see this post.

I will post their photos & description one by one below. These are only some of them, hope others can contribute here.

Some of their colleagues had already surrendered to the authorities and to exposed all these nonsense. We ask earnestly the others to do the same.

You can hide but we will find you.

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Jghw80 says last year

Hi All,

Yes my is also an Indian guy too his approach is pressurising.

After with all those words he mentioned I felt threathen and he ask the Malay guy to come in to discuss the engaging fees of their lawyer for termination and class action suit.

No matter how I mentioned i do not have money they always find ways to lower the fees by stepping out of the room to make phone call and return to the room to say they can help me with this and that if I can pay this sum of $$$ or with instalments plan.

I say not today I need to seek 2nd opinion I take my contract and left.

The Malay guy mentioned if I ever received letter of demand look for them immediately they still can help abit.

I believed they photo copy my contract with my address on it planning for more things on later stage.

The police also mentioned to me to not give in this is scam.

Reply
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