December 14, 2023
SINGAPORE – Three Arrows Capital co-founder Zhu Su for the first time faced questioning in a Singapore court about the crypto fund’s collapse, giving liquidators their best chance yet to gather information as they seek to recoup billions of dollars for creditors.
The two-day court hearing this week required Zhu to respond to lawyers for the liquidator, Teneo, people familiar with the matter said. The lawyers sought details including how the fund failed and the whereabouts of assets, the people said, asking not to be named as the proceedings were private.
The questioning was approved in court earlier, the people said, after Zhu was arrested at Changi Airport on Sept 29 and jailed for four months for failing to cooperate with the task of winding up Three Arrows.
Zhu is set to be released in December based on standard provisions for good behaviour, the people said.
Zhu, who appeared in the High Court on Dec 13 dressed in a slim suit and closely-cut hair, acknowledged the questioning ahead of its morning commencement when asked by a Bloomberg News reporter. His legal representative did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the court or the prison service. A spokesperson for Teneo declined to comment.
Three Arrows imploded in 2022 as leveraged bets blew up, stoking a US$2 trillion (S$2.69 trillion) crypto rout as well as a spate of other collapses in the sector.
Liquidators have accused Zhu and the fund’s other founder Kyle Davies of failing to cooperate meaningfully with their probe and are seeking to recover US$1.3 billion from the two men. Teneo estimates creditors are owed roughly US$3.3 billion overall.
The proceedings between Zhu and Teneo’s representatives are a civil matter. Zhu and Mr Davies have not faced any criminal charges in Singapore. Details obtained from the questions in court will be shared with creditors with the aim of maximising recoveries, according to the people.
Zhu has previously said that his and Mr Davies’ good-faith efforts to cooperate with liquidators were “met with baiting”. In e-mail correspondence submitted to a New York bankruptcy court by the liquidators, counsel to Mr Davies and Zhu have said that court orders the liquidators have obtained are “baseless.”
Singapore’s central bank in mid-September imposed nine-year prohibition orders on both men for transgressions at Three Arrows, faulting the fund for risk management failings and providing false information.
Three Arrows was viewed as among the largest and most successful crypto hedge funds before it collapsed.
It shifted registration to the British Virgin Islands after having previously operated out of Singapore. A British Virgin Islands court appointed Teneo in June 2022 to liquidate the fund’s assets.
Zhu and Mr Davies are among the one-time darlings of crypto’s pandemic-era bull run whose reputations subsequently evaporated as boom turned to bust, exposing risky practices.
Liquidators are in touch with authorities around the world in their effort to locate Mr Davies, a person familiar with the matter said in October. BLOOMBERG