Leng Kah Poh was the IKEA Food Service Manager for Ikano Pte Ltd (IKEA Singapore). Being the top man in charge of IKEA Food Service, he had a free hand in making most of the decisions related to the restaurant operations including approving food suppliers to IKEA Singapore.
The CPIB received information on the case and its investigation revealed that sometime in 2002, Leng got acquainted with Lim Kim Seng, the sole proprietor of Buildcare Services who performed cleaning works for IKEA Singapore’s restaurants. The latter approached Leng with a business proposal to replace IKEA Singapore’s existing food supplier. He introduced Tee Fook Boon, the sole proprietor of AT35 to Leng. Subsequently, AT35 managed to take over the supply of raw food ingredients from IKEA Singapore’s existing supplier with the assistance and recommendation of Leng. Part of the company (AT35)’s profits went to Leng even though he did not contribute to the initial capital investment to finance their business scheme. Later, Lim set up Food Royale Trading (FRT) to supply chilled and dry food products to IKEA Singapore. AT35 and FRT then became the exclusive suppliers of frozen, chilled and dried food ingredients and products to IKEA Singapore. Leng continued to exercise his influence and favour the two companies. He would give insider information on how to make AT35’s and FRT’s products attractive to IKEA Singapore.
Over a period of about 7 years, through AT35 and FRT, Lim Kim Seng, Tee Fook Boon and Leng Kah Poh amassed for themselves S$6.9 million out of the company profits from the food supply contracts with IKEA Singapore. Leng took a one-third share for his pivotal role in their business scheme, in the amount of about S$2.3 million.
All 3 persons were charged and convicted for corruption offences. Leng Kah Poh was convicted by a District Court in July 2013 but was later acquitted in September 2013 by the High Court. The High Court decision was then overturned by the Court of Appeal in November 2014, which restored Leng’s original sentence of 98 weeks imprisonment and S$2,341,508 penalty* on the corrupt proceeds he received. Lim Kim Seng was convicted and sentenced to 70 weeks imprisonment in 2013. Tee Fook Boon was originally convicted by a District Court to 16 weeks imprisonment and fine of S$180,000. Subsequently, Tee’s imprisonment was enhanced to 40 weeks with the fine amount remaining unchanged on 22 August 2011.
* Penalty is an additional punishment (for corruption offences) imposed on the bribe taker to pay a sum which is equal to the amount of that gratification.