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SBI Offshore steps up investigation into ex-CEOs’ possible wrongdoing

Singapore’s SBI Offshore has filed a report with the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force in relation to the possible breach of securities laws by two of its former CEOs.

SBI said its board has also created a special investigation committee, which comprises the four new independent non-executive directors it appointed on Wednesday.

The directors will lead the internal investigation into findings by PwC, which uncovered that two former CEOs may have broken the law during the company’s purchase and sale of a 35% stake in China-incorporated Jiangyin Neptune Marine Appliance Co (JNPT).

The investigation concerns Tan Woo Thia, who founded SBI Offshore in 1994 and remained an executive director until March this year; and Hui Choon Ho, former CEO and director of the company.

PwC found there were two sets of agreements signed for both the the acquisition and disposal of the stake in JNPT. The auditor said the contents of the agreements differ, particularly the sale and purchase consideration, and were signed by the two executives on behalf of SBI.

“This gives rise to potential legal implications as there was no satisfactory explanation provided to PwC as to the reason for having two different sets of documents for the same transaction,” SBI Offshore said previously in a filing.

Hui Choon Ho was the company’s executive chairman and CEO when the two JNPT acquisition agreements were signed. Tan Woo Thian was the company’s executive director and CEO at the time of signing the two disposal agreements.

“The full extent of the possible breach of securities laws or other offences, or other potential breaches has yet to be determined,” SBI said today in a filing.

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Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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