Registry to probe missing funds co-op

THE regulator of co-operative societies here has launched an investigation into a co-op recently in the news for losing $5 million.

The Registry of Co-operative Societies said it started the probe after receiving information about "possible irregularities in the governance and administration" of the Singapore Statutory Boards Employees' Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society.

The $5 million was reported missing due to fraud allegedly committed by two of the co-op's employees, the registry said in a statement yesterday.

It said it was alerted to the alleged fraud last October, and it had advised the co-op to take "further prudential measures to mitigate the impact".

The incident has placed the co-op in a "vulnerable financial position", said the registry, which is under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

The probe is separate from the ongoing police investigation and will look into the co-op's operations, financial condition and affairs, it said, to ensure that "members' interests are protected".

The Straits Times had reported earlier this month about the missing funds.

The co-op said later it had suspended two of its workers, without elaborating.

The co-op's management committee had met members in November last year to inform them of the alleged fraud after the registry was alerted to the situation.

At the co-op's annual general meeting on June 14 at the Singapore Khalsa Association, members again discussed the co-op's loss and its financial position.

The meetings were conducted under the registry's monitoring, the statement said.

The Singapore Statutory Boards Employees' Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society is one of the oldest co-ops here. Founded in 1925, it has about 1,200 members.

Co-ops generally provide financial services by taking deposits and giving loans to members.


This article was first published on June 24, 2014.
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