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Singapore Kitchen Equipment execs in graft probe

CATALIST-LISTED Singapore Kitchen Equipment on Sunday said that its husband-and-wife founders Sally Chua Chwee Choo and Alan Lee Chong Hoe are in a corruption probe.

Ms Chua is the group’s executive director and chief executive officer, while Mr Lee is an executive director.(see Amendment Note)

Ms Chua and group senior sales manager Alvin Chiao Shan Ren are on bail in relation to investigations into offences under Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the group said in a regulatory update. It added that their passports have been surrendered to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao were interviewed by the CPIB on or about Sept 10 in connection with entertainment expenses and sales commissions relating to certain projects undertaken by Q'son Kitchen Equipment, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The group, through Q'son, provides commercial and industrial kitchen solutions for the food and beverage and hospitality services industries. Ms Chua is also the managing director of Q'son.

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Singapore Kitchen Equipment said the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed against Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao as at Sunday.

Its nominating committee is of the view that the trio remains competent and it would be in the group's best interests that they continue to discharge their responsibilities and duties in the operation of the group's businesses. The nominating committee will re-assess its position where appropriate in the event there is any material development, the group said. 

Although it is presently not aware of any impropriety or offence committed by Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao, the board said it has appointed solicitors and an independent reviewer to, among other things, review the group's internal processes and internal controls to further strengthen corporate governance.

Singapore Kitchen Equipment on Sunday requested to lift a trading halt called on Sept 11. The counter last traded at 9.8 Singapore cents on Aug 20.

Amendment Note: A previous version of the story incorrectly reported Alan Lee Chong Hoe instead of Alvin Chiao Shan Ren as being on bail and having his passport surrendered. We are sorry for the error.

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