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Aquablue assets frozen by Quebec’s securities regulator

CBC reports that, “The bottled-water company (Aquablue International) slated to take over the former Hershey chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ont., has had its assets frozen.”

“Much of Aquablue’s money was raised in Quebec” and the province’s securities regulator, L’Autorité des marchés financiers, is putting in place a major investigation of the company.

“In a statement, the regulator alleges: ‘Manuel Da Silva (Aquablue’s chief executive) made representations to potential investors about projects to sell bottled water in China, the acquisition of a bottling plant in Smith Falls, Ontario, and an exchange listing of the shares sold to investors, whereas it was highly unlikely that the projects would be carried out.'”

“The statement also alleges that Da Silva took hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who thought they were investing in Aquablue and transferred the funds into his personal account.”

The Council of Canadians first started speaking out against Aquablue’s plans for a bottled water plant in Smiths Falls in May 2009. That’s at www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=554.

The CBC report is at http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/03/31/smiths-falls-aquablue-hershey-assets-frozen.html.