Cordlife probe: Directors lodge police report over ‘potential wrongdoings’ of former

SINGAPORE: Cordlife’s board of directors on Wednesday (Apr 17) lodged a police report over the “potential wrongdoings” of former employees amid a probe into damaged cord blood units.

In a bourse filing on Wednesday night, the company said it had convened a Committee of Inquiry (COI) to conduct internal investigations into why about 2,200 cord blood units in the first tank – Tank A – were damaged.

Cordlife has been under scrutiny after it was revealed in November last year that seven of its 22 storage tanks were exposed to temperatures above -150 degrees Celsius, the acceptable limit for cord blood units.

“Based on the preliminary findings of internal investigations conducted by an external consultant engaged by the COI (which are still ongoing) and the information available, the COI is of the view that it has uncovered preliminary evidence of potential wrongdoings involving mostly former employees of the group in connection with the Tank A incident,” said Cordlife.

The company lodged a police report on Wednesday “in respect of such potential wrongdoings” and said it would offer its full cooperation to the authorities.

In the filing, the board said the police report was made without two directors – Mr Zhai Lingyun and Ms Chen Xiaoling. Mr Zhai and Ms Chen are nominee directors of Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store, which has a 20.3 per cent stake in Cordlife.

CNA has contacted the police for more information.

Seven directors or former directors have been arrested in connection with the case, including former Group CEO Tan Poh Lan

Earlier this month, the Health Ministry (MOH) announced that about 5,300 cord blood units stored in a second Cordlife tank and a dry shipper have been deemed “non-viable”.

This is on top of the roughly 2,200 cord blood units that were damaged in the first tank, affecting at least 2,150 clients. 

Besides the two tanks and dry shipper, the five remaining tanks that store about 14,000 units were deemed “low-risk”, said the ministry.

MOH experts have recommended that Cordlife test a large number of units in these five tanks. The company has agreed to test about 200 more samples and review the outcome of the test results with the ministry’s experts.

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