Son of former PM Goh Chok Tong assisting in CAD probe: reports

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
Goh Jin Hian, CEO of Singapore's New Silkroutes Group Ltd, poses for pictures during an interview in Beijing, China, October 17, 2016. Picture taken October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Aizhu Chen
Goh Jin Hian, former CEO of New Silkroutes Group. (PHOTO: Reuters/Aizhu Chen)

SINGAPORE — Healthcare provider New Silkroutes Group said on Wednesday (30 September) that its executive director and former chief executive officer Goh Jin Hian, as well as finance director William Teo, are assisting the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) with investigations.

The Business Times reported the company as saying that it was responding to queries raised by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) regarding ongoing investigations by CAD into a possible offence under the Securities and Futures Act.

The group understands the alleged offence is false trading and market rigging pursuant to Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act, in view of past share buy-backs and acquisitions of shares.

“All share buy-backs conducted by the company previously were in the ordinary course and transacted on the open market and announced in accordance with the share buy-back mandate approved by the shareholders of the company and the SGX-ST’s guidelines and regulations," it told The Business Times.

Both the passports of Teo and Dr Goh, who is the son of former prime minister Goh Chok Tong, have been retained by the CAD. New Silkroutes Group told The Business Times that neither of them have been arrested nor charged, and no bail has been required to be posted.

Handing over info and papers for police probe

According to New Silkroutes in a bourse filing, it had been notified on 24 September to hand over information and papers for a police probe.

In response to the SGX’s query on whether the parties named are subjects of the investigation, New Silkroutes said that as far as the company is aware, no charges have been made against the named parties.

It also noted that the notice by CAD and the Monetary Authority of Singapore on 24 September did not disclose the subject of the investigation, reported The Business Times.

"The nominating committee and the board are of the view that Dr Goh and Mr Teo are suitable to continue as a director and/or executive officer of the company, as investigations are still ongoing and no charges have been made against them," said the group.

Kelvyn Oo, its former executive director and chief corporate officer, is also assisting with investigations. He is currently an independent director of oil- and gas-related company Teho International, after leaving New Silkroutes on 1 August.

Goh involved in possible legal action on separate matter

Dr Goh was appointed New Silkroutes CEO in July 2015, but retired from this position as of Thursday (1 October), as announced in July this year.

He was also designated chairman of the company with effect from 1 August, following the retirement of Pao Kiew Tee as independent director and chairman. After his retirement as CEO, he will become the non-executive chairman.

He is also involved in a possible legal action on a separate matter, for breaches of director's duties at Inter-Pacific Petroleum (IPP), reported The Straits Times.

The marine fuels supplier had lost its operating licence and is now under judicial management amid financial stress. It is facing possible liquidation after finding itself in troubled waters since the COVID-19 pandemic began and oil prices plunged.

Deloitte & Touche, the judicial manager of IPP and its parent Inter-Pacific Group, is considering possible legal action over alleged negligence by Dr Goh when carrying out his duties as a director from 28 June 2011 to 30 August 2019.

Dr Goh told The Straits Times that the allegations against him were “without merit”, and his lawyers have exchanged correspondence with Deloitte & Touche.

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