The Commercial Affairs Department (“CAD”) of the Singapore Police Force and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) have been investigating Citadelle Corporate Services Pte Ltd (“Citadelle”), Senjo Group Pte Ltd and its subsidiaries for the suspected offences of falsification of documents under the Penal Code, as well as carrying on a trust business without a licence under the Trust Companies Act.
To date, the director of Citadelle, R Shanmugaratnam (“Shanmugaratnam”), has been charged with 14 counts of falsification of documents under Section 477A of the Penal Code for allegedly issuing 14 letters from Citadelle to Wirecard AG, its subsidiaries and an audit firm, that falsely represented that Citadelle held large sums of money in its escrow accounts at various points in time between 2015 and 2017, when Citadelle did not maintain such accounts or hold such balances in its accounts. The proceedings against Shanmugaratnam are ongoing.
In September 2021, a 47-year-old British national, James Henry O’Sullivan (“O’Sullivan”), was also charged with five counts of abetting Shanmugaratnam in the falsification of some of the abovementioned documents, under Section 477A read with Section 109 of the Penal Code.
In the course of its investigations into various entities, CAD also uncovered additional falsified documents of Strategic Corporate Investments Pte Ltd (“Strategic”).
Consequently, on 5 May 2022, O’Sullivan was charged in court with two additional counts of abetting Shanmugaratnam, who was the company secretary of Strategic, in the falsification of documents under Section 477A read with Section 109 of the Penal Code. O’Sullivan had purportedly instigated Shanmugaratnam to issue letters to Wirecard AG that falsely confirmed that Strategic held certain sums of money under escrow in its bank account, when in fact the bank account did not hold such amounts.
On the same day, Strategic’s director, 58-year-old Thilagaratnam S/O Rajaratnam, was also charged in court with an offence under Section 157(1) read with Section 157(3)(b) of the Companies Act (Cap 50). He was alleged to have failed to use reasonable diligence in the discharge of the duties of his office, by signing letters confirming that Strategic held certain sums of money under escrow in its bank account, without ascertaining whether the contents in these letters were true.
The offence of abetting the falsification of documents under Section 477A read with Section 109 of the Penal Code is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, a fine, or both. The offence of breaching the duties of a director under Section 157(3)(b) of the Companies Act is punishable with a fine not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
05 May 2022 @ 11:35 AM