SITC Holdings Disappears

SITC Holdings is an empty room

Fourteen Singapore International Training Consultancy (SITC) schools and five senior management training centers across Viet Nam closed on January 22, 2006. The closure has left the salaries of 1,000 teachers overdue and 30, 000 students demanding reimbursement.

The SITC Holdings, located on the third floor of the Stanford Court, has been vacated since December, 2005.

Reporters from Singapore Today and Straits Time newspapers said they have tried in vain to find another address of the SITC Holdings.

L.T.S.J, one of SITC’s shareholders who spoke on the condition of anonymity, reported that the company had closed some time due to financial difficulties.

“SITC Holdings was just a group to pour money into its schools in Vietnam instead of being a parent company of the centers”, he said.

The schools in Vietnam were registered under the Life Knowledge Consultancy (LKC) Co. All shareholders obtained the details only last week.

The man who wanted to stay anonymous promised that investors would use their mortgages as part of compensation to students and teachers, and would send reports to the Vietnamese Embassy and relevant agencies on the chain’s financial status and suggested solutions.

The Tuoi Tre reporters also found their way to Michael Yu’s – CEO of SITC Vietnam-residence, but Yu already moved out in July, 2005.

The Taiwanese director had begun absconding funds shortly before the chain shut down altogether, with his whereabouts unknown to date.

A local woman said that police checked his house last Sunday, but the wanted man was nowhere to be found.

Officers of LKC Co. said that they have no awareness of the SITC, affirming that they are just administrative officers.

 A meeting led by the Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Minh Hien was immediately convened on Monday in the wake of the high profile school shutdown.

At the meeting, Lai Huu Mien, a senior official from the ministry acknowledged that the SITC closed due to financial failures.

He added that his ministry is keeping a close eye on language-teaching centers which offer free short courses or discounts to several of the SITC students to ensure they operate as promised.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment will act to seek rightful compensation for students and teachers.    
An official from the Investment Ministry said his department has yet to receive any response from LKC, adding that it will not dispatch a mission to Singapore until receiving response from the company.

Source: TT - Translated by Van Hanh

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