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Singapore Charges Keppel FELS Manager and Subcontractors with Bribery

Singapore charges 7 with bribery and influence peddling Keppel FELS and subcontractors
Yard Manager at Keppel FELS was charged in an influence peddling scheme - file photo of Keppel FELS

By The Maritime Executive 10-14-2020 02:34:05

Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) charged seven individuals with corruption and conspiracy in a bribery and influence-peddling scheme involving the Keppel FELS shipyard and several sub-contractors. 

The case alleges three individuals received approximately S$879,900 (US$650,000) in payments in exchange for promises to advance the business interest of the subcontractors. In Singapore, any person who is convicted of a corruption offense can be fined up to S$100,000 (US$74,000) and sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years.

According to the charges brought in court on October 14, between 2014 and 2017, a yard manager at Keppel FELS, Alvin Lim Wee Lun, conspired with two other individuals, Goh Ngak Eng and Rajavikraman s/o Jayapandian, to obtain bribes “as an inducement to further the business interests of the companies with Keppel.” 

The case charges that Ngak Eng received the payments which he would split with the two other individuals. Each of the three individuals has been charged with 46 counts of conspiring to obtain the payments from employees at Titan Offshore Equipment, Spectrama Marine & Industrial Supplies, and Growa F.E. Pte, all of which were subcontractors of Keppel.

In addition, both Ngak Eng and Rajavikraman face a further three counts related to a payment of S$7,000 (US$5,200) by Ngak Eng as “a reward for furthering the business interest of a marine equipment manufacturer with another company in the same line of business.”

Ngak Eng is also charged with 10 counts of corruptly giving approximately S$15,100 (US$11,125) to an employee of a logistic company, as a reward for that individual, Ong Tun Chai, preparing fictitious invoices on the company’s letterhead. In addition to those charges related to falsifying invoices, Chai faced a further 20 counts of willfully and with intent to defraud, falsifying papers belonging to a logistics company. These later charges show the depth of the alleged scheme as those papers were issued to the employees of the two subcontractors falsifying services allegedly provided to those companies.

A director of Titan Offshore Equipment, U Keh Choon, was charged with seven counts of making approximately S$196,000 (US$145,000) in payments to the three accused leaders of the conspiracy. CPIB alleges those payments were made as an inducement for furthering the business interest of Titan with Keppel.

Twenty-one counts were brought against a director of Spectrama Marine & Industrial Supplies, Goh Sheng Li, for making S$190,900 (US$141,000) in payments as an inducement for furthering the business interest of Spectrama with Keppel. A managing director of Growa F.E. Pte, Fatkullah Bin Tiap, faces 18 counts for making S$492,300 (US$363,000) in payments to the three conspirators.

No charges were brought against any of the companies related to the scheme, but the CPIB strongly advises all companies to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by their employees.

The individuals involved in the alleged corruption scheme are due to begin appearing in court in November to face charges in their cases.