ST Aug 19, 2005
NKF board calls in police
Help sought to look into 'matters of grave concern'
By Theresa Tan
SINGAPORE'S white-collar crime-busters are investigating the National Kidney Foundation, after the charity's interim board came across 'certain matters of grave concern' in the course of its work over the past month.
In a two paragraph statement issued yesterday morning, the interim board said it had 'requested the assistance of the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) to look into these matters'.
It added: 'As these matters have been referred to the authorities, the NKF is therefore not at liberty to discuss these matters at this stage.'
A police spokesman yesterday confirmed that it had 'received a complaint' from the NKF. Officers believed to be from the CAD were seen at the charity's headquarters in Kim Keat Road yesterday.
When contacted, its chairman of one month, Mr Gerard Ee, declined to elaborate on the move. He would only say that he had briefed staff at the headquarters - numbering around 300 - about the CAD's presence and told them not to be alarmed.
Other than that, it's business as usual. 'Life goes on,' he said.
But the CAD's involvement suggests that a serious breach of the law may have been committed, said lawyers interviewed.
This particular blogger, Justice4NKFdonors, will no doubt be pleased. He had been unhappy at the apparent lack of action over the past few weeks.
Mr Wang speculates that the police will be looking into the following possible offences:
1. Cheating, under the Penal Code
2. Criminal breach of trust, under the Penal Code
3. Failure by director to disclose potential conflict of interests (section 156, Companies Act)
4. Failure by director to act honestly and exercise due diligence (section 157, Companies Act).
Don't hold your breath waiting for the next development though. Mr Wang, a former Deputy Public Prosecutor, has previously been involved with the investigation of white-collar crimes. These types of offences tend to take a long time to investigate, as the investigation officers need to pore over tons of documents with a finetooth comb. In the present case, political sensitivities will force the Commercial Affairs Department to speed up, but even then it may take many months ...