Murder in Spain: Singaporean suspect was self-proclaimed financial ‘expert’ involved in multiple businesses


Mitchell Ong's now-defunct website listed his qualifications as a financial expert. - SCREENGRAB FROM INTERNET ARCHIVE

SINGAPORE: A large amount of money was reportedly found in the hotel room of the man linked to the murder of Singaporean architect Audrey Fang in Spain.

Mitchell Ong, who was identified on April 20 by Spanish media as a suspect in the case, was also said to be wearing €1,000 (S$1,450) shoes, and his social media posts show that he had a penchant for the opulent.

On an archived version of his defunct website, where the 43-year-old offered financial advice, Ong claimed to be an “expert”, with clients spanning chief executives, celebrities, the heads of banks and even regulators from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Among the achievements he listed were boasts of cashing out cryptocurrency investments and losing 15kg of body fat.

He also said he was the “sole Singapore representative” in 2018 to attend the 10X Growth Conference in Las Vegas and 10X Business Boot Camp in Miami.

A check on the events’ websites showed that tickets to these events could be purchased for a four-figure sum.

To promote his website – whose domain was registered in 2016, according to the WHOIS public database – Ong commissioned a series of videos on YouTube that were uploaded in 2018.

An individual who worked with him on the videos told The Straits Times that the shoot was “poorly planned”, and seemed to just be random sequences of Ong around Singapore, San Francisco and Miami.

“The gist I got was that he wanted the videos to promote some course. I asked him if it’s a course he was selling or some online workshop that he was doing, but I think he wasn’t sure himself,” the 28-year-old said.

On his website, Ong also featured links to his multiple social media accounts, and listed “successful business ventures” that he launched.

But checks by ST found that of the six companies he was involved with, five are now defunct. The remaining one, which deals with insurance, was incorporated in 1972, with Ong listed as the director since March 2009.

His website appeared to be out of use as at 2021, based on the Internet Archive’s records.

According to Ong’s LinkedIn profile, which was removed on April 20 while he was in custody in Spain, he has been working as a private wealth management specialist since 2011.

He also worked as a financial services consultant from 2014 to 2019, and a financial adviser from 2011 to 2013, among other finance-related positions.

Spanish news outlet La Opinion de Murcia reported on April 19 that Ong was not known to be working currently, citing sources close to the investigation.

Ong has been remanded in Spain in connection with the death of Fang, 39, whose body was found with stab wounds in Abanilla in the Murcia region on April 10.

She left Singapore for her solo trip in Spain on April 4 and was slated to return on April 12, but was uncontactable since April 10.

Spanish media outlet La Verdad de Murcia, quoting sources close to the investigation, said on April 20 that an “economic motive” may be behind the murder.

It said Fang had made some investments, with recent transfers to an unidentified third person. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , murder , Spain , Mitchell Ong , Audrey Fang

   

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