Duo Convicted For Bribery
On 13 August 2021, Koh Lai Heng, Alvin (“Koh”, 许来兴, 42-year-old Singaporean male), a Property Officer for Smart Property Management (Singapore) Pte Ltd who was deployed at Sherwood Condominum at the material time, was sentenced to a fine of S$4,500 and a penalty of S$1,300 for receiving bribes. Gopalakrishnan S/O Venkatesan (“Gopalakrishnan”, 72-year-old Singaporean male), the Director of Cominco Private Limited (“Cominco”) at the material time who had given the bribes, had earlier been sentenced to a fine of S$3,900 for corruption on 11 August 2021.
2. Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that in July 2018, Koh approached several security service providers, including Cominco, to submit quotations for security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium. In the same month, Koh arranged a site visit and lunch with Gopalakrishnan to discuss the job requirements. Over lunch, the discussion between Koh and Gopalakrishnan pertained to whether Koh could help Cominco secure the security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium by recommending Cominco to the Management Corporation Strata Title’s (MCST’s) management council. In return, Koh would receive commissions from Gopalakrishnan if Cominco was successfully awarded the security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium.
3. In August 2018, upon Koh’s recommendation, Cominco was subsequently awarded two security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium valued at a total of about S$211,400. On two separate occasions thereafter, Koh received commissions totalling S$1,300 from Gopalakrishnan. For corruptly obtaining and giving gratifications, Koh and Gopalakrishnan were charged under Section 6(a) and Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act respectively on 25 June 2021.
4. 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.
5. The public and management councils of MCSTs should remain vigilant and report any suspected corruption offences to CPIB or suspected cheating offences to the Police respectively. Feedback from MCSTs relating to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA), should be reported to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
6. CPIB looks into all corruption complaints and reports, including anonymous ones, and can be reached via the following channels:
7. Where possible, the report should include the following information:
a) Where, when and how the alleged corrupt act happened?
b) Who was involved and what were their roles?
c) What was the bribe given and the favour shown?
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau