Police retain laptop, phone of Allied Tech executive director

Police have retained the laptop and mobile phone of Allied Technologies executive director Kenneth Low Si Ren in relation to their investigations over the $33.2 million reported missing from an escrow account lodged with law firm JLC Advisors LLP. Mr Low was interviewed at the office of the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) on Tuesday evening.

He also surrendered his passport yesterday as part of the police probe, said Allied Technologies in an update filed with the Singapore Exchange.

CAD had also on Tuesday taken away information, records and documents relating to Allied Technologies and its subsidiaries - Asia Box Office, Activpass Holdings and Allied Technologies Holdings - from the premises of Allied Technologies and its subsidiaries.

These seizures also relate to the escrow account with JLC.

"CAD has not disclosed to the company any further details of its investigation. The company intends to cooperate fully with CAD on the investigation," said Allied Technologies in the statement.

The $33.2 million reported missing was held in escrow by law firm JLC for the Catalist-listed engineering firm Allied Technologies.

The money was believed to have been paid out on the instructions of Mr Jeffrey Ong, the law firm's managing partner, and the payouts might have been unauthorised.

JLC said last week it was investigating the matter and had lodged reports with the authorities.

Allied Technologies said that despite repeated demands for repayment since March 23, including a letter of demand issued by its lawyers from Rajah & Tann on May 17, JLC has failed to release the balance funds of $33,153,416.56 and has breached its obligations under the escrow agreement inked on Oct 23, 2017.

The Law Society took control of the clients' accounts of JLC last week and have also started an investigative audit on the law firm.

JLC's managing partner Jeffrey Ong has remained uncontactable since.

Allied Technologies recused Mr Low and two other directors from all decisions and recommendations by its board because of conflict of interest in relation to the missing $33.2 million held by JLC.

The other two recused independent directors are Ms Karen Pok Mee Yau, who is a salaried partner of JLC Advisors, and Mr Lim Jin Wei, who has been a signatory to the escrow account with JLC.

Meanwhile, JLC has asked its appointed lawyers from Advocatus Law to look into Allied Tech's letter of demand dated May 17 seeking the return of the money and a further letter from Allied's Rajah & Tann lawyers received last week.

"We are looking into the matter," said Advocatus lawyer Christopher Daniel yesterday.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2019, with the headline Police retain laptop, phone of Allied Tech executive director. Subscribe