SINGAPORE (Mar 4): The Commercial Affairs Department has commenced probes on Phua Chian Kin, former group CEO of TEE International.

Investigators from the white-collar crime unit have already taken away certain documents and items from the company’s premises earlier in the day, the company said in a late-night announcement on March 4. “The CAD has not given any further details of its investigations. The Company intends to cooperate fully with the CAD on its investigations,” said TEE International.

Just a day earlier, the company released a summary of an investigation by PricewaterhouseCoopers Risk Services, which was appointed last September to probe allegedly unauthorised fund transfers totalling $6.55million between TEE International and entities personally held by Phua.

PwC’s report has suggested several potential breaches of the Companies Act as well as possible non-compliance with Singapore Exchange(SGX) Listing Rules and the Code of Corporate Governance.

The unauthorised remittances were discovered by the company when it was preparing its financial statements for the full year ended May 31, 2019. According to TEE International, all the monies have been repaid by Phua back to the company last August.

The company said on March 4 that it has been required by the CAD to provide documents ranging from supporting documents for all remittances between itself and Phua that are the subject of PwC’s investigation; minutes of board meetings since June 1 2017; general ledgers of the company for its FY2018 and FY2019; signing limits of bank accounts given by TEE International to Phua.

See: Independent investigation into TEE International unearths potential legal breaches: PwC

CAD has also asked for all correspondence pertaining to the investigations between TEE International, PwC, other auditors, and internal auditors.CAD is also requiring access to the computers containing emails, chats assigned to Phua, Yeo and the financial controller Tan Keng Hean.

In a regulatory announcement on Mar 3 after the PwC summary report was out, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) noted the findings. “The Exchange expects issuers to have in place appropriate internal controls to monitor material disbursements of issuer’s funds. The issuers and their directors must also ensure that procedures are in place to monitor IPTs for compliance with the Listing Rules,” SGX Reg Co said.

“In light of this, we will be carefully reviewing PwC’sreport as well as other matters to do with the company for potential breaches of the Listing Rules,” the market regulator added.