Police probing Action for Aids' $135,000 embezzlement case

Professor Roy Chan, founder of Action for Aids, revealed at its AGM how accountants realised in April that $135,000 had vanished from its operational funds. He said the staff member under suspicion was suspended at once.
Professor Roy Chan, founder of Action for Aids, revealed at its AGM how accountants realised in April that $135,000 had vanished from its operational funds. He said the staff member under suspicion was suspended at once.ST FILE PHOTO

Police are investigating the disappearance of $135,000 in funds from the local charity Action for Aids (AFA) earlier this year.

A senior staff member was fired three weeks after the embezzlement was uncovered in April.

The matter came to light at the charity's annual general meeting on Dec 5, the minutes of which were sent to The New Paper (TNP) on Thursday. TNP reported that AFA president Roy Chan revealed how accountants realised in April that the money had vanished from the charity's operational funds.

A non-governmental organisation and registered charity, AFA was founded in 1988 to fight Aids/HIV in Singapore. It has been recognised as an institution of a public character since 2004.

The organisation raises awareness about Aids (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) prevention, as well as advocating for and providing care to those living with the disease.

A non-governmental organisation and registered charity, AFA was founded in 1988 to fight Aids/HIV in Singapore. It has been recognised as an institution of a public character since 2004.

A spokesman told The Straits Times: "Given that there is an ongoing police investigation into this matter with which Action for Aids is cooperating fully, we regret that we are unable to comment further."

According to the minutes received by TNP, Professor Chan told those at the meeting that "swift action" was taken, with the staff member under suspicion suspended almost at once.

The duties of other staff were also reorganised, while AFA accountants carried out a thorough assessment of the organisation.

The man suspended in relation to the embezzlement was subsequently sacked three weeks later. He has since made restitution of around $106,000.

AFA's sector administrators in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Promotion Board were informed once the organisation confirmed the loss of the monies.

Asked if they would be conducting their own probe into the irregularities, a ministry spokesman said: "MOH is aware of this case. We are unable to comment further as police investigations are ongoing."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on , with the headline 'Police probing Action for Aids' $135,000 embezzlement case'. Print Edition | Subscribe