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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES/LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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ACRA files 78 charges against Data Register Pte Ltd

Suspicious business activities also being investigated.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) announced that it has brought 78 charges against the company known as Data Register Pte Ltd (previously known as "Company Register Pte Ltd") for offences committed under the Companies Act.

Six similar charges are pending issuance on Monday. Data Register Pte Ltd is charged with multiple breaches of section 144 of the Companies Act for failing to display the company name and registration number in its correspondences with companies in November 2013. In those correspondences, it requested companies to verify their company details with it through its website.

A single breach of section 144 of the Companies carries a maximum fine of S$1,000. The purpose of section 144 is to ensure that the legal identity of every company must be revealed to anyone who has, or may wish to have, dealings with it. Any member of public can conduct a free search on ACRA’s online business directory to check information such as the name, registration number, address and status of any company registered with ACRA.

Since November 2013, ACRA has received over two thousand queries from members of the public in relation to the correspondences they had received from Data Register Pte Ltd. Many members of the public informed ACRA that they had mistakenly assumed that Data Register Pte Ltd was linked to ACRA and that they were obliged to provide the requested information. After Data Register Pte Ltd sought payment for subscription services from some companies, ACRA again received queries asking whether such payment had to be made.

ACRA issued two public alerts on Data Register Pte Ltd. These were on 14 Nov 2013 and 16 Jan 2014 when ACRA stated that it had no links to this company. ACRA also informed the public that companies that needed to update their records with us, should do so through our online filing and information retrieval system - BizFile. Under normal circumstances, ACRA would not approach companies to seek payment via email or letter. Most companies transact with ACRA and make online payments via Bizfile.

With regard to allegations that these actions amounted to a scam, ACRA has referred the case to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for their investigation into the business activities of Data Register Pte Ltd.

As the case is now before the courts, members of the public may consider waiting for further developments before making payment. Members of the public who have unwittingly made payment may wish to seek legal advice, or request for a refund from the company

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