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YuuZoo poses 80 questions to independent reviewer on "a budget and a timeline"

TROUBLED e-commerce firm YuuZoo Corporation on Tuesday said it had given independent reviewer Ernst & Young Advisory (EY) "a budget and a timeline", responding after the regulator slapped it with a notice of compliance for not giving EY the necessary access to information and data.

YuuZoo - which is under investigation for possible breaches of the Securities and Futures Act - said when EY on Feb 23, 2018 sent to the company the first draft of the report, YuuZoo responded to EY with a list of 80 questions relating to the report. It said "the draft report included several statements that YuuZoo considered inaccurate or misleading".

"As at the date of this announcement, the company has not received a reply from EY on any one of the 79 comments and questions posed by the company," YuuZoo said on Tuesday.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) had said in April that the EY review was restricted by scope exclusions imposed by YuuZoo that were "inconsistent with the spirit of an independent review".

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In early March, SGX slapped an earlier notice of compliance and queries on YuuZoo over details in the company's financial figures. SGX subsequently suspended trading in YuuZoo. This suspension has been in place since March 20.

YuuZoo said in response that "it would have been wrongful use of shareholders' funds if the company had given any third party unrestricted timeline or unrestricted budget for the work they had been instructed to do".

It added that it made "its own decision" to appoint EY, and that "EY themselves made several restrictions to the scope of engagement".

YuuZoo appointed EY last October to carry out an independent third-party review after a number of claims and allegations were made against the firm.

YuuZoo said it has been "a strong advocate" of "complete transparency", and will update shareholders on any response to these questions.

YuuZoo was raided by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) this month.

CAD seized valuation reports, audit plans and materials prepared by various professionals, as well as hard disks and laptops of certain employees.

Its chairman, Thomas Zilliacus, and the company's 2015 head of franchise management Sebastian Zilliacus were interviewed by the CAD. Thomas Zilliacus was also asked to surrender his passport.

SGX had required EY to submit an executive summary of the initial findings to SGX as soon as these are finalised. YuuZoo will also be required to release these findings publicly.

YuuZoo separately announced it has promoted its chief operating officer, known only as Mohandas, to become CEO. The company has not had a CEO since late 2016.

Its then-CEO, James Somasundram, had resigned due to "personal reasons/health" after about a year in the job.