Singapore — In the latest development concerning Dr Goh Jin Hian, the New Silkroutes Group announced late on Thursday night (Oct 15) that he had resigned as its chairman.
Dr Goh is the son of former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
The company said Dr Goh and Mr William Teo Thiam Chuan, who had served as finance director, had both stepped down effective immediately, even as they are assisting the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) with investigations.
Dr Goh’s role as non-independent and non-executive chairman had been announced earlier this year after having been with the company since July 2015.
In separate filings with the Singapore Exchange on Thursday night (Oct 15), the New Silkroutes Group, a healthcare company, said Dr Goh tendered his resignation “to devote more time to his personal affairs” and that Mr Teo was resigning “to focus on personal matters and to pursue other interests”.
According to the straitstimes.com, the firm announced on Sept 30 that both men were under investigation by CAD due to a possible offence under the Securities and Futures Act. The offence concerns “false trading and market rigging in view of past share buy-backs and acquisitions of shares”.
On Oct 6, it was announced that Dr Goh had also resigned as chairman of the Cordlife Group following news that he had been served with an unrelated lawsuit by Inter-Pacific Petroleum’s (IPP) judicial managers due to US$156 million (S$212.6 million) in losses stemming from an alleged breach of director’s duties.
Cordlife had said last week that Dr Goh would stay on as an independent director. However, in a filing with the Singapore Exchange, also on Thursday night, the company announced that he had resigned as an independent director with immediate effect.
On Oct 5, it was reported that Dr Goh was being sued by the judicial managers of IPP. The suit had been filed late in the evening of Oct 2 in the High Court by LVM Law Chambers, the legal representatives of Deloitte & Touche, IPP’s judicial managers.
Deloitte & Touche are seeking to recover the said amount, plus interest, alleging that the funds were used in “non-existent or sham transactions” between June and July last year.
Last month, the judicial managers investigating IPP, a shuttered Singapore bunker supplier and bunker craft operator, submitted a filing to the High Court asking for more time to consider whether to take Dr Goh to court.
TISG reported on Sept 17 that IPP began to go under after the crew of a vessel chartered by the firm was charged over bunkering malpractices. The crew had tampered with a mass flowmeter, illegally using magnets to increase its readings to claim that it had delivered more fuel during bunkering operations than it was actually carrying.
IPP’s bunker craft operator licence was temporarily suspended by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) last June. Dr Goh, an IPP director at the time, called MPA’s move “premature” and stated that the authority should have “discussed the incident with us giving us a chance to review the facts”.
On Aug 16, IPP and its parent company Inter-Pacific Group Pte Ltd filed for judicial management at the High Court and appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP as their judicial managers. Dr Goh left IPP four days later, after having been at the firm since June 2011. /TISG
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