Insurance company MassMutual Asia is facing a civil claim in the High Court mounted by industry rival American International Assurance (AIA) over the alleged spreading of rumours with a forged letter. It is alleged that the letter, falsely bearing the letterhead of AIA, stated that AIA was to be sold by its parent company, American International Group. The writ also alleges that the letter said AIA's policyholders could go to surrender their life insurance policies before September 26, otherwise they could not be guaranteed the full amount in principals, dividends or cash value of their policies. This happened as news emerged that the US giant AIG was mired in financial troubles. Filing the writ, American International Assurance Company (Bermuda) Limited and American International Assurance Company Limited is suing MassMutual Asia, a local insurance company, for damages. A claim of exemplary damages was sought based on the alleged defamation regarding the forged letter published by MassMutual Asia's employees, while a claim was also made for the 'wrongful interference with [AIA's] business, causing loss'. It also sought an inquiry into damages of the loss suffered as a result of the alleged fraudulent conduct. In September, 11 people at MassMutual Asia were arrested to help with the investigation into the forgery. It was reported that the nine men and two women, aged between 34 and 62, included nine employees - from agents to managers - of MassMutual Asia.