Investor Alert: B.C. and Manitoba securities regulators investigating Gold-Quest International



    VANCOUVER, March 5 /CNW/ - The British Columbia Securities Commission and
the Manitoba Securities Commission are investigating an investment that offers
people an unusually high annual return - 87.5 per cent - and commissions for
bringing in new investors.
    The regulators have reports that residents of British Columbia and
Manitoba (as well as elsewhere in Canada) have been approached to invest in a
"family and friends private placement program" in which Gold-Quest
International, an offshore company, would trade in foreign exchange markets
(FOREX) on their behalf.
    In addition, persons purporting to represent Gold-Quest have told
investors they can also earn money by referring new investors to the program.
They are offered an immediate commission of 10 per cent of the amount a
referred person invests and an ongoing monthly commission of four per cent for
12 months. These promoters are not licenced or registered to sell securities
in either British Columbia or Manitoba.
    Investors send their money - reportedly as low as $500 US - to California
banks and receive information and documents back from Nevada-based operations.
Investments can be made through online payment systems. Typically, promoters
of the investment recruit investors through newspaper advertisements,
word-of-mouth and special meetings.
    Concerned investors or members of the public who have been approached or
have information about this investment are urged to contact the BCSC or MSC,
or their local securities regulator. The BCSC and MSC are actively
investigating this matter.
    The BCSC and MSC strongly encourage investors to be cautious about any
investment that bears the following "red flags":

    
    -   Unreasonable or guaranteed high annual returns (with little or no
        risk)
    -   Insider tip/membership opportunity or secrecy (usually with an
        urgency to act quickly)
    -   Money is moved offshore (references to tax avoidance)
    -   Profit like the "experts"
    -   Great investment opportunity ("your friends can't be wrong")
    

    B.C. investors can report a suspicious investment or inquire about any
investment or a financial adviser, by contacting the BCSC at 604-899-6854 or
1-800-373-6393 (toll-free in BC & Alberta). Manitoba investors can contact the
MSC at 204-945-2548 or toll-free at 1-800-655-5244 about any suspicious
investment opportunity to find out what they can do.

    The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government
agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province.

    The Manitoba Securities Commission is an independent agency of the
Government of Manitoba that protects investors and promotes fair and efficient
capital markets throughout the province.





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Ken Gracey, British Columbia
Securities Commission, (604) 899-6577; Ainsley Cunningham, Manitoba Securities
Commission, (204) 945-4733


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