SINGAPORE: A company had its registration cancelled by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) after it failed to take enhanced measures to mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks when incorporating companies.
SGCN Link and its sole director and shareholder Lew Chian Hwa had their registration cancelled by ACRA with effect from Jan 29, the authority said on Monday (Feb 21).
SGCN and Ms Lew provide corporate secretarial services for business entities, such as helping clients to file annual returns or to meet the requirements under the Companies Act.
ACRA investigations revealed that Ms Lew had filed documents with the authority for her clients’ companies, even though she had “reasonable grounds” to believe that the information was inaccurate.
She did so without being authorised by her clients, ACRA said.
“This is in breach of the terms and conditions prescribed in the Second Schedule of the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations,” said the authority.
ACRA investigations also revealed that SGCN breached the terms and conditions in the authority’s regulations.
“In particular, SGCN failed to perform enhanced customer due diligence measures to mitigate the money laundering and financing of terrorism risks in relation to the incorporation of the companies,” said ACRA in a press release.
“SGCN also failed to take reasonable measures to verify the identity of the beneficial owners of the companies before filing said information on beneficial ownership with ACRA.”
Registered qualified individuals and registered filing agents must ensure that filings with ACRA are carried out in accordance with instructions from their clients and that the filings are true and accurate, it said.
Registered qualified individuals found to have breached their obligations could face financial penalties of up to S$10,000 per breach and/or have their registration suspended or cancelled.
Source: Channel News Asia (CNA)