National Safety Council members under probe

Members of the National Safety Council of Singapore are under investigation for possible misappropriation of funds. (Screengrab)
Members of the National Safety Council of Singapore are under investigation for possible misappropriation of funds. (Screengrab)

The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) is investigating "key members" of the National Safety Council of Singapore "for possible misappropriation of funds," a police spokesperson told The Straits Times (ST) on Friday.

At least $600,000 could have been misappropriated from the 45-year-old non-profit body.

The paper said the investigation came after a report was filed by the Traffic Police.

The Commissioner of Charities said it had stopped the council from raising funds in September last year.

The council's president, Tan Jin Thong, 72, said he and several council directors were questioned by the CAD in September last year. The investigations would take six months, he said.

He admitted that the council is in "quite a pathetic situation" and hopes it will be able to overcome its problems.

Deputy president Ameerali Abdeali, who is not under investigation, intends to hold an internal check to find out what happened to their funds once the CAD's probe is over.

The 59-year-old is the council's acting president as Tan is on medical leave.

The council is currently suffering from money woes.

From 20 employees, the council is down to six, who have been on no-pay leave since March.

The council has been locked out of its premises at Tan Boon Liat Building for owing two months' rent. However, Tan and other directors said the two-month deposit the council paid should have covered the amount owed.

The council has also been served a garnishee order by Winson Press, which prints its safety manuals. The printer is owed about $40,000.

Honorary secretary-general Anthony Sia attributed the council's financial woes to losing a contract to run safety courses for maids. It had run the course from 2004 to 2010 and revenue was between $60,000 to $80,000 a month.

The Ministry of Manpower awarded the contract to another organisation in January.

Paying off its debts and staff salaries will be the council's first priority when it has the money, it told the same paper.

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