Doctored Obama photos and unverified claims: How a S'pore-based firm’s bid for Newcastle United turned into an own goal

Above: This image of former United States president Barack Obama with (from left) Mr Nelson Loh, Ms Evangeline Shen and Mr Terence Loh was released by the Bellagraph Nova Group when it announced its Newcastle bid on Aug 15. It later emerged that the
This image of Mr Barack Obama with (from left) Mr Nelson Loh, Ms Evangeline Shen and Mr Terence Loh was released by the Bellagraph Nova Group when it announced its Newcastle bid on Aug 15. It later emerged that the photo was doctored to superimpose the group's name in the back and shift Mr Terence Loh next to Mr Obama.PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP
Above: This image of former United States president Barack Obama with (from left) Mr Nelson Loh, Ms Evangeline Shen and Mr Terence Loh was released by the Bellagraph Nova Group when it announced its Newcastle bid on Aug 15. It later emerged that the
The actual seating is shown above. The original image did not have the group's name or logo. PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP
A publicity picture distributed by Bellagraph Nova Group that purports to show founders (from left) Terence Loh, Evangeline Shen and Nelson Loh meeting Mr Barack Obama in their Paris office.
A publicity picture distributed by Bellagraph Nova Group that purports to show founders (from left) Terence Loh, Evangeline Shen and Nelson Loh meeting Mr Barack Obama in their Paris office.PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP
In reality, the photo of Mr Obama and Ms Shen was taken at a Dec 14, 2019 charity event in Singapore. It was sponsored by Novena Global Lifecare, founded by the Loh cousins who weren't in this picture.
In reality, the photo of Mr Obama and Ms Shen was taken at a Dec 14, 2019 charity event in Singapore. It was sponsored by Novena Global Lifecare, founded by the Loh cousins who weren't in this picture.PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP
Mr Terence Loh (left) and Mr Nelson Loh (right) with former US president Barack Obama in Dec 14, 2019, at a charity event they sponsored.
Mr Terence Loh (left) and Mr Nelson Loh (right) with former US president Barack Obama in Dec 14, 2019, at a charity event they sponsored.PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP
Bellagraph Nova Group's co-founder Evangeline Shen in a recent publicity photo (left) and in June 2017 at Bellagraph's opening at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.
Bellagraph Nova Group's co-founder Evangeline Shen in a recent publicity photo (left) and in June 2017 at Bellagraph's opening at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH WECHAT
Mr Nereides Antonio Giamundo de Bourbon, the Paris-based spokesman for the Bellagraph Nova Group.
Mr Nereides Antonio Giamundo de Bourbon, the Paris-based spokesman for the Bellagraph Nova Group.PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP
The Loh brothers own Axington, a Catalist-listed professional services company that they intend to change to NETX and go into areas like robotics and IT. Axington is currently occupying a space in Fortune Centre, in the same unit as an unrelated acco
The Loh brothers own Axington, a Catalist-listed professional services company that they intend to change to NETX and go into areas like robotics and IT. Axington is currently occupying a space in Fortune Centre, in the same unit as an unrelated accounting management consultancy. PHOTO: ST FILE
On July 19, Catalist-listed Axington filed a name change to NETX. The professional services company also intends to go into areas like IT and robotics, but these have not been approved by the board. Marketing materials on NETX have since been taken d
On July 19, Catalist-listed Axington filed a name change to NETX. The professional services company also intends to go into areas like IT and robotics, but these have not been approved by the board. Marketing materials on NETX have since been taken down.PHOTO: ST FILE

An audacious bid for Newcastle United put a Singapore-based group under scrutiny and exposed unverified claims in its publicity material

On the fourth floor of Novena Gardens, an old apartment block in Thomson Road, more than 20 companies are registered to one unit.

Most are linked to the business of aesthetics medicine, with a few in general investments.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 30, 2020, with the headline 'A bid that turned into an own goal'. Print Edition | Subscribe