EVCo to shut after arrest of key executives, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

EVCo to shut after arrest of key executives

EVCo, the joint venture company set up by the business arm of SMRT and a Chinese electric vehicle firm, is being wound up, several months after its two key executives were arrested in connection with a police investigation.

In a March 1 post on EVCo’s LinkedIn page, its chairwoman Judy Lee announced that the company – owned by Strides Holdings and Dishangtie Green Technology (Hong Kong) – would go into liquidation.

The “difficult decision” was made after “careful consideration, deliberation and thorough evaluation” of the company’s financial situation, she said.

“We understand that this news would be disappointing to our staff, customers, shareholders and partners. All staff have been informed, and we are committed to supporting them during this transition,” she added.

EVCo’s former chief executive officer Fuji Foo and former chief financial officer Janice Low were arrested late in 2023 in connection with a police probe after irregularities were detected, and an internal audit was started.

On Jan 31, the electric van leasing company – which had about 30 staff as at mid-December – let some of its employees go, including those who did sales, operations, marketing and communications. Sources said between 10 and 20 workers were let go.

Asked what would happen to EVCo’s remaining staff, Ms Lee said no employees will be transferred out, as they are needed to “maintain service level to our existing customers during the liquidation process”. She did not say how many employees were affected by the liquidation.

On whether EVCo’s vehicles would be transferred to Strides, she said the liquidator would decide on the “appropriate approach to be taken on the assets to maximise recovery for creditors”.

When posed the same questions, Strides Holdings spokeswoman Margaret Teo said: “Notwithstanding the setback, Strides remains fully committed to the goal of decarbonisation and assisting our small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers in embracing green mobility and adopting environmentally friendly practices. Forging forward, we will work with like-minded partners, on a more robust and sustainable approach to achieve this goal.”

Strides Holdings owns 60 per cent of EVCo’s shares while Dishangtie Green Technology (Hong Kong) holds the rest.

Based on a business profile search lodged on March 4, the company, incorporated as Strides DST on March 11, 2022, had a paid up capital of $10 million.