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Seven linked to Keppel FELS charged with bribery-related offences

Seven linked to Keppel FELS charged with bribery-related offences

Source: Business Times
Article Date: 15 Oct 2020
Author: Anita Gabriel

They include a former employee and 3 subcontractors; misdeeds were allegedly committed from 2014-2017.

Seven individuals, including an employee and three subcontractors of Keppel FELS - a wholly-owned shipbuilder of Keppel Offshore & Marine - were charged in court on Wednesday with multiple counts of bribery-related offences that were allegedly committed between 2014 and 2017.

Alvin Lim Wee Lun, a 40-year-old former yard manager at KFELS, Goh Ngak Eng and Rajavikraman Jayapandian were charged with 46 counts of abetment by conspiring with one another to obtain S$879,900 in bribes or gratification from three subcontractors of KFELS, according to a media statement issued by Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

The subcontractors at the material time were Titan Offshore Equipment Pte Ltd's director U Keh Choon, Spectrama Marine & Industrial Supplies Pte Ltd director Stanley Goh Sheng Li and Growa F.E. Pte Ltd managing director Fatkullah Tiap. The trio - U, Stanley Goh and Fatkullah - were charged for giving bribes through Goh, a director at Megamarine Services Pte Ltd, as an inducement to further their business interests with KFELS.

When contacted by BT, a spokesperson from KFELS said: "We are aware that a former facilities manager from Keppel FELS, Alvin Lim, is being charged by CPIB for corruption. He was dismissed from the company in 2019 for breaching Keppel's Code of Conduct", which prohibits, among others, bribery and corruption. The spokesperson said the firm has extended full cooperation to the authorities.

Titan's U, a 50-year-old Singapore permanent resident, was charged with seven counts of giving S$196,700 in bribes to Goh, Lim, and Jayapandian. Stanley Goh, 33, of Spectrama, was charged with 21 counts of giving bribes totalling S$190,900 to the three men while Fatkullah, 59, was charged with 18 counts of giving S$492,300 in bribes to the trio.

In addition, Jayapandian, 45, a project director at Rotary Offshore Solutions Pte Ltd, was also charged with three counts of corruptly obtaining S$7,000 gratification from Goh, as a reward for furthering the business interest of Megamarine, a marine equipment manufacturer, with Rotary, which is in the same line of business.

Apart from the three counts of corruptly giving gratification to Jayapandian, Goh, 54, was charged with 10 counts of corruptly giving S$15,100 gratification to Ong Tun Chai, a manager of 3W Logistics Services, as a reward for preparing fictitious invoices on the logistics company's letterhead.

In turn, Ong, 48, was charged with 10 counts of corruptly accepting the gratification from Goh and 20 counts of wilfully and with intent to defraud, falsifying papers belonging to a logistics company that were issued to Growa and Titan. These were done to reflect services requested by Growa and Titan when they were not, according to the CPIB statement.

All the individuals charged are Singaporeans except for U, who is a Singapore permanent resident. They are set to return to court next month for further mentions.

"Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to S$100,000 or sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years or to both," said CPIB.

The anti-corruption agency reminded companies to instal robust procedures in procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by employees.

This is not the first time Keppel O&M is hounded by graft news. In 2017, on a much-bigger scale, the wholly-owned offshore and marine unit of Keppel Corp was fined US$422 million after it reached a resolution with authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore in relation to bribes paid by a former agent in Brazil amid the biggest corruption scandal to hit the Latin American nation.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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