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Terence Loh lodges police report over 'improper transfers' of S$5m

Terence Loh lodges police report over 'improper transfers' of S$5m

Source: Business Times
Article Date: 31 Dec 2020
Author: Tay Peck Gek

He claims there were 6 unauthorised transfers totalling S$5.25m out of Giron Wines.

Disputes between the Loh cousins are deepening, with Terence Loh Ne-Wei having made a police report alleging improper transfers of over S$5 million from wine distributor Giron's accounts. The alleged transgressions emerged after he brought in accounting experts to check.

Mr Loh lodged a police report on Monday, claiming that there were six unauthorised transfers totalling S$5.25 million from Giron to the bank accounts of a relative between April 27 and May 5.

The Business Times understands that he named to the police a suspect in the transfers, which were brought to his attention after accounting experts were hired following his appointment as director of Giron in mid-May.

Mr Loh told BT: "Notwithstanding the transfers, Giron has received expressions of interest from potential buyers. One party has expressed strong interest in its business operations, relationships with vineyards and customer base; and is currently conducting legal and financial due diligence on the company . . . I am hopeful of concluding a transaction in the coming weeks."

The police confirmed a report was lodged, and investigations are ongoing.

Giron has been placed in receivership over bank financing for wines amounting to S$1.1 million. The firm's revenue was S$19.5 million and net profit was S$1.4 million last year.

The company, incorporated in 2005, is a wine trader and distributor in which the 43-year-old Mr Loh now owns a 36.4 per cent interest, his younger sister Marjory Loh Erchang has a 27.4 per cent stake and the remaining stake is held by Melina Yong. Mrs Yong is the wife of wine expert and reviewer NK Yong.

Mr Loh had bought out the stake in Giron of Lee Chai Hoon, the wife of his 41-year-old cousin Nelson Loh Ne-Loon.

The Loh cousins burst into the spotlight in August for their reported �280 million (S$502 million) takeover bid for English Premier League club Newcastle United, under Bellagraph Nova Group. The latter was formed from a merger between Bellagraph Group, an entity owned by Evangeline Shen, and the Loh cousins' private vehicle Dorr Group.

But things went downhill for them when doctored photographs featuring them and former United States president Barack Obama, and inconsistencies in publicity materials surfaced.

The Loh cousins went separate ways in their business ventures in the medical, wellness and aesthetics sectors in October, as some entities established in their 12-year business relationship became embroiled in scandal.

Mr Terence Loh took over the stakes of his cousin in three entities including Novena Global Healthcare Group, which has been in the limelight since Ernst & Young filed a police report alleging its unauthorised signatures had appeared on the group's financial statements.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority said earlier that eight entities owned by the Loh cousins had not filed their annual returns, and enforcement actions are under way.

Mr Nelson Loh's whereabouts are reportedly not known.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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