Goh Jin Hian, executive director and chief executive officer of healthcare provider New Silkroutes Group is assisting the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) with investigations, the company disclosed on Wednesday night, Sep. 30.
Finance director William Teo is also assisting the CAD with investigations, New Silkroutes said.
Not arrested or charged, but passport impounded
CAD has launched an investigation into the mainboard-listed investment holding company over a possible offence under the Securities and Futures Act of Singapore, as reported by The Straits Times on Sep. 28.
The group said the passports of both Goh and Teo have been retained by the CAD.
But neither has been arrested nor charged, and no bail has been required to be posted.
Alleged offence of false trading and market rigging
The latest replies by New Silkroutes was in response to queries raised by Singapore Exchange (SGX) regarding the ongoing investigations by CAD.
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, the company said, revealing these details according to what it understands.
However, New Silkroutes said no charges have been made against the named parties as far as the company is aware, when asked if the parties named are subjects of the investigation.
It also noted that the notice by CAD and the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Sep. 24 did not disclose the subject or subjects of the investigation.
Son of Goh Chok Tong
Goh is the son of former prime minister Goh Chok Tong.
He was appointed New Silkroutes chief executive in July 2015, but is due to retire from this position on Oct. 1, as announced in July 2020.
Goh junior was appointed non-executive chairman of New Silkroutes with effect from Aug. 1 following the retirement of Pao Kiew Tee as independent director and chairman.
Goh junior and 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, the group said.
The group said this was the view of the nominating committee and the board.
New Silkroutes also disclosed in response to SGX: "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."
New Silkroutes was asked on Sep. 24 by the CAD and MAS to provide information and documents for a probe, Goh told the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Sep. 25 night.
One of the company directors and certain senior management and former management executives are also assisting with the CAD's probe, it was revealed that night.
One of these other persons has been revealed to be Teo.
New Silkroutes had earlier in September 2020 been told to hand over information and papers for a police probe, according to the group in a bourse filing.
Kelvyn Oo, independent director of Catalist-listed oil and gas-related company Teho International, is also assisting with investigations besides Goh and Teo.
Oo left New Silkroutes on Aug. 1.
He was formerly the executive director and chief corporate officer.
Goh Jin Hian facing possible legal action in another separate matter
ST also reported that it understands that the CAD probe is not related to a separate matter involving possible legal action against Goh.
This separate case is for alleged breaches of his director's duties at a marine fuels supplier that had lost its operating licence and is now under judicial management amid financial stress.
Deloitte & Touche, the judicial manager of Inter-Pacific Petroleum (IPP) and its parent Inter-Pacific Group, is considering possible legal action over alleged negligence by Goh when carrying out his duties as a director from June 28, 2011, to Aug. 20, 2019.
Deloitte & Touche is possibly exploring this option of taking Goh to court after it was granted a six-month extension of the judicial management order for IPP earlier in September 2020.
Top photos via Digiland International Limited & New Silkroutes