Finally! German regulator investigates Fortrade Group and offshore broker!

BaFin investigates Fortrade Group
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LLC “Fort Securities BLR” is the offshore broker operator of the Fortrade Group. It is registered and licensed in Belarus. It used to be the operating entity behind the now-vanished FX Trade Premium, against which the UK FCA issued a warning (report here). The German BaFin has announced an investigation against this Belarusian entity and its Invest365. We have already exposed Fortrade’s non-compliant offshore broker activities and their connections to the Russian Alpari Group and the FCA– and CySEC-regulated ForexTime Group.

Key data

Related brandsAlpari, Forex Time, FXTM, ForTrade, GloryFT, TorexFX
Related domainswww.alpari.com, www.alpari.org, www.alpari-broker.ru, www.alpari.im, www.fxtm.com, www.fortrade.com, https://pro.fortrade.com,
www.forextime.com, https://gloryft.com, www.torexfx.com
Legal entityLLC “Fort Securities BLR”
Related legal entitiesFortrade Cyprus Ltd (Cyprus), Fortrade Limited (UK), Fort Securities Israel Limited (Israel), Fort Securities Australia Pty. Ltd (Australia), ForTrade Canada Limited (Canada), Alpari Evrasia LLC (Belarus), Alpari Limited (SVG), FT Invest Ltd (Seychelles), Alpari Limited (Russia), FT Global Services Ltd, Exinity Ltd (Mauritius), Exinity UK Ltd (UK),
and counting
JurisdictionsUK, Cyprus, Belarus, Russia, Israel, Seychelles, Mauritius, Canada,
Regulatory regimesFCA, CySEC, FSA Seychelles, FSC Mauritius, Bank of Russia, National Bank of Belarus,
WarningsCNMV, FCA, BaFin

The Fortrade narrative

FinTelegram established that the Belarus LLC “Fort Securities BLR” is a part of the Fortrade Group. The information available to BaFin suggests that the Belarusian entity of the Fortrade Group is offering unauthorized banking transactions or financial services in Germany. In addition, the Fort Securities BLR allegedly falsely pretends to cooperate with BaFin in e-mails to investors.

The FCA-regulated Fortrade Limited and its subsidiaries posted record annual revenues of £26.7M in 2020 with a gross profit of £4.58M, reversing a 2019 revenue decline as market conditions turned favorable amid the COVID-19 pandemic. If and how the group’s offshore broker activities are included in these numbers, we don’t know. However, neither the offshore companies in Belarus nor Mauritius, nor the Australian or Canadian entities are subsidiaries of the FCA-regulated entity.

In our review of Invest365, we discovered that the potential victims could lose their money via credit and debit card payments through Binance. First, victims have to use credit and debit cards to buy cryptocurrencies on Binance, which are then transferred to Invest365. Unfortunately, we know this pattern very well by now. Many of the licensed Estonian crypto platforms have focused on this FIAT crypto exchange. However, victims are thus falling over themselves for any possibility of a chargeback. After all, they bought cryptocurrencies and did not transfer them directly to a broker.

Fortrade offshore onboarding and the bank accounts

Fortrade offshore onboarding

The website with the domain https://pro.fortrade.com Fortrade also offers consumers from UK and EU member states to register either with the CySEC-regulated broker or with the LLC “Fort Securities BLR.” With the latter, Fortrade offers the UK and EU retail clients a 1:100 leverage, whereas CySEC and ESMA permit maximum leverage of 1:30.

After registration, clients can immediately make first-time deposits via bank transfers with unlimited amounts to Fortrade Group. At the time of the initial transfer, neither e-mail is confirmed, let alone the identity. These are not proper KYC/AML procedures.

The payment instructions also include the bank account of the FCA-regulated Fortrade fur UK residents. Evidently, the Fortrade Group circumvents and systematically violates the regulatory requirements of FCA, ESMA, and CySEC.

Vanished broker FX Trade Premium redirects website visitionr do GKFX broker

Fortrade Mauritius Ltd, registered and regulated in Mauritius, is also linked to the Fortrade offshore onboarding website.

The vanished broker

FX Trade Premium Broker, which was warned against by the FCA, has since disappeared. The former website https://platform.fxtradepremium.com presents Google ads that redirect visitors to MFSA-regulated broker AKFX Financial Services Limited at the time of our review d/b/a GKFX (https://www.gkfx.de) and Israeli fund recovery venture Action Refund (https://actionrefund.com).

Share information

If you have any information about the Fortrade Group and its activities, please share it with us through our whistleblower system, Whistle42.

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