The woman behind the case
IS SHE IN THE STATES? Ms Clara Tan claimed she was held by US authorities, but was she telling the truth? Photo: INTERNET
At first, the investors claimed, Ms Clara Tan called them regularly to update them.
But around mid-2014, the calls slowed down and eventually died.
The investors grew worried when US banks wrote to them, telling them to make good the mortgage payment or their properties might face foreclosure.
The investors then wrote to Ms Tan repeatedly. They also called and even visited her Pemimpin Drive office and home address, a condominium at Upper Thomson Road.
She could not be reached.
One investor, however, managed to get her on Skype sometime in November and she claimed she was being detained in Indianapolis by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and her passport had been impounded.
Some investors decided to group together to find some way to get themselves out of trouble.
They made separate police reports on Jan 17 and 18,and reported to the Council for Estate Agencies on Jan 29. Police confirmed the reports had been lodged and would only say that they were looking into the matter.
TNPS also contacted FBI Special Agent and Media Representative (Indianapolis) Wendy Osborne.
Are they looking into land purchases by CTL Global and is it linked to a land bank scandal?
Is the FBI or another law-enforcement agency holding Ms Tan?
Ms Osborne would only say that the FBI does not confirm or deny investigations.
Often, when a Singaporean is in trouble overseas, a relative might contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assistance.
But an MFA spokesman says the ministry has not been approached for assistance.
The New Paper on Sunday team visited the CTL Global office at One Pemimpin twice, and the door was locked on both occasions.
Calls to the numbers listed on the website also went unanswered.
A check with neighbouring offices found that no one had been seen going in or coming out of the unit since three months ago.
Twice, the team visited her condominium, but nobody answered the door even though Chinese New Year decorations were up.
An e-mail sent to Ms Tan also went unanswered.
But TNPS understands that Tan and CTL Global are not only foraying into Cambodia, but have also conducted webinars (seminars via the Web) since Jan 8 to attract investors from the country.