Two former senior managers at Singaporean rig-builder Keppel Fels, part of Keppel Offshore & Marine, face up to five years in prison after being charged with alleged corruption offences.
The two ex-Keppel Fels officials and a former regional general manager of Singapore-based Corus South East Asia, which markets semi-finished metal products among other business activities, have been charged in a Singapore court for alleged bribery.
The three male Singaporeans charged are 72-year-old Wong Kok Seng, who was Keppel Fels’ senior general manager (group procurement) at the material time; his former colleague, 64-year-old Tan Seng Cheh, who was Keppel Fels’ senior subcontract manager and assistant general manager at the material time; and 53-year-old Thong Chee Kong, who was Corus South East Asia’s regional general manager at the material time.
All three were charged for allegedly committing offences under Singapore’s Prevention of Corruption Act.
“Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence under Section 6 of the Prevention of Corruption Act can be fined up to S$100,000 (US$75,830) or sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years, or both, Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) noted.
Upstream has approached Keppel Offshore & Marine for comment while Corus South East Asia could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.
The CPIB revealed details of the charges, which date back to as early as 2006.
Around 4 March 2008, Thong was alleged to have knowingly given Tan a quotation from Blue Steel made to Keppel Fels to buy its scrap steel, which was not intended to be a genuine offer. Sometime between 4 March and 9 April that year, Tan was alleged to have knowingly used that quotation in his bid analysis.
“These were allegedly done with the intent to mislead Keppel Fels into selling scrap steel to Corus SEA,” the CPIB noted.
The previous year, Thong allegedly paid expenses amounting to S$20,636.50 for Tan’s trip to Italy. Further, in or before 2008, Thong allegedly paid another S$17,360 and 1,240,080 yen (US$9698) for Tan’s expenses for two trips to Japan.
“These were allegedly gratification that were corruptly given to Tan as an inducement for advancing the business interest of Corus SEA with Keppel Fels,” the bureau claimed.
Meanwhile, earlier in 2006, Thong also allegedly paid Wong’s and his wife’s expenses for a trip to China, amounting to S$5850, which the CPIB said was allegedly gratification that was corruptly given to Wong as an inducement for advancing the business interest of Corus SEA with Keppel Fels.
Thong left Singapore back in 2008, only returning last year and he was arrested on entry into the island state.
Thong has been charged on five counts under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Tan on four counts and Wong on one count.
The CPIB added that companies are “strongly advised” to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by their employees.
“Companies are also strongly encouraged to obtain certification under the Singapore Standard ISO 37001 – Anti-Bribery Management Systems, which is designed to help companies implement or enhance an anti-bribery management systems to reduce corporate risk and costs related to bribery,” the bureau said.