CAD raids YuuZoo office, seizes documents

The raid on YuuZoo Corp's premises is understood to have taken place on Monday. Mr Thomas Zilliacus, who was CEO from 2013 to 2015, has had to hand over not just his passport but also all personal diaries, on top of e-mail and information technology
The raid on YuuZoo Corp's premises is understood to have taken place on Monday. Mr Thomas Zilliacus, who was CEO from 2013 to 2015, has had to hand over not just his passport but also all personal diaries, on top of e-mail and information technology hardware, both personal and corporate.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR, BLOOMBERG
The raid on YuuZoo Corp's premises is understood to have taken place on Monday. Mr Thomas Zilliacus, who was CEO from 2013 to 2015, has had to hand over not just his passport but also all personal diaries, on top of e-mail and information technology
The raid on YuuZoo Corp's premises is understood to have taken place on Monday. Mr Thomas Zilliacus, who was CEO from 2013 to 2015, has had to hand over not just his passport but also all personal diaries, on top of e-mail and information technology hardware, both personal and corporate.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR, BLOOMBERG

Ex-CEO surrrenders passport amid investigation into possible breaches

Mainboard-listed YuuZoo Corp's premises have been raided, and former management staff interviewed by the police, the company disclosed late on Thursday night.

The seizure of documents and computer equipment, which is understood to have taken place on Monday, came on the heels of a notice from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD). Chairman and former chief executive Thomas Zilliacus, a Finn, has surrendered his passport on instructions from the police.

Singapore Exchange Regulation, or SGX Regco, said on Monday it had referred findings from an independent reviewer's draft report to the authorities over possible breaches of the Securities and Futures Act by YuuZoo.

Ernst & Young Advisory was engaged last October to carry out an independent review of the online media company. It was to cover a range of issues, including former employees' allegations of wrongdoing, as well as queries by the bourse operator over certain financial items in 2016.

YuuZoo, which is under a trading suspension, said the authorities have seized copies of various documents, such as records relating to franchises and to companies in which it had a stake. The material requested by the CAD covers the financial years 2013 to 2016, it said.

General ledgers of the company, its subsidiaries and associates, as well as corporate secretarial documents like management and board meeting minutes, have been taken, alongside hard disks and laptops.

Mr Zilliacus, who was CEO from 2013 to 2015, has had to hand over not just his passport but also all personal diaries, on top of e-mail and information technology hardware, both personal and corporate.

The CAD has also asked for "all relevant information technology equipment and corporate e-mail" from former chief finance officers Fred Lim and Michael Parker, former financial controller Thai Youn Fatt, former CEO James Sundram and former franchise management head Sebastian Zilliacus, Mr Thomas Zilliacus' nephew.

YuuZoo said on Thursday that both uncle and nephew have been interviewed by the CAD.

"The CAD has not disclosed to the company any further details on the abovementioned investigations; and as far as the company is aware, no arrests have been made in respect of the aforesaid investigations," it said.

Asked yesterday to confirm that no arrests have been made in the probe, a police spokesman would only said that it was "inappropriate to comment at this juncture".

SGX suspended trading in YuuZoo's shares on March 19, over a separate set of queries. The company has been listed on the mainboard since 2014, after a reverse takeover.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'CAD raids YuuZoo office, seizes documents'. Print Edition | Subscribe