The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has revoked the licence of a tour agency, Asia-Euro Holidays, following its sudden closure.
The agency had put up a notice on Friday at its main branch in Chinatown Point and on its Facebook page, saying it had closed for business with immediate effect.
On Saturday, STB urged affected consumers to contact the agency about their booking or refund.
If they could not reach it or receive relevant service or refunds, those with travel insurance should approach their insurers, while those without can seek help from the Consumers Association of Singapore or Small Claims Tribunal where appropriate, it said.
The board is monitoring the situation and may consider taking further actions against the company and its directors if necessary.
Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported on Saturday that the closure of the agency has affected at least 500 customers.
Some had paid more than $1,000 for tour packages to countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, as recently as the previous weekend.
The company had to close as it had made huge losses in property investments amounting to about $2 million, Lianhe Wanbao wrote.
Business registration records show that the company was registered in 2002 and its directors are Tan Meow Hwee and Tay Jwee Hiang, who are married to each other.
Mr Tay is also the director of another tour agency, Euro-Asia Holidays at Peace Centre in Dhoby Ghaut. Calls to the firm's office yesterday went unanswered.
He was also the director of tour-related firms Relax Holidays and Jet Holiday, which have since folded.
In its notice, Asia-Euro Holidays asked patrons whose passports are with it to call an agent who processes visa applications.
The visa agent, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lee, told The Straits Times (ST) that he is holding seven passports belonging to its clients, including those of Chinese and Indian nationalities.
Yesterday, ST visited two residences registered under the directors' names.
No one responded to knocks on the door at the first home, a Jurong West flat with a few fliers stuck in its door grille.
The other, a corner terrace in Bukit Batok, has been put on sale.
A housing agent who declined to be named told ST that he has been trying to sell the 31/2-storey house in the Pavilion View estate since March.
At an asking price of $3.5 million, it has drawn a few interested buyers but no offers yet, he said.
He called Mr Tay on Saturday but the mobile number was no longer in use.
He said: "I think he will contact me soon because we have the same objectives. I hope to secure a buyer soon, and letting go of the property would help him churn out some cash."
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