SINGAPORE – Tee International has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Risk Services as an external investigator to look into unauthorised transactions totalling $6.55 million allegedly made under the instruction of group chief executive and managing director Phua Chian Kin.

The external investigator will also determine whether there had been any other similar remittances for the period from June 1, 2017, to Aug 31, 2019, the mainboard-listed engineering group said in an exchange filing on Friday (Sept 13).

It will seek an understanding of the facts and circumstances relevant to the transactions and review all relevant work performed by the internal auditor Protiviti Pte Ltd and the external auditor Deloitte & Touche LLP including audit reports and supporting documents.

Beyond sifting through the company’s financial records for suspicious activity, the investigator will also review all transactions entered into by the group with Oscar Investment Pte Ltd, a company owned by Mr Phua, and other known parties related to him for the relevant period.

It will also identify any weaknesses in governance and internal controls processes and recommend remediation actions as needed before eventually issuing an overall findings report.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Risk Services will liaise with, take instructions from and report its findings directly to the Singapore Exchange Regulation Pte Ltd.

The appointment of an external investigator comes after external auditor Deloitte & Touche LLP had flagged concerns to the company regarding the transactions.

As Deloitte was unable to ascertain the nature of the transactions as genuine advances or made out for some other purpose, Tee International said it decided to appoint an external third party independent investigator.

The company had also called for a trading halt on Thursday morning amid the probe.