Two Former Employees From Food Distribution Company Charged For Alleged Offences
On 29 September 2022, two former employees from food distribution company Sonnamera Pte Ltd (“Sonnamera”) were charged in Court for alleged corruption and cheating offences. The duo are:
a) Maheswaran M Ratinasavapathy (“Mahes”)(27-year-old male Malaysian), Warehouse Supervisor of Sonnamera at the material time;
b) Renitha Muraleedharan (“Renitha”) (31-year-old female Singaporean PR), Accounts Executive of Sonnamera at the material time.
Alleged Corruption Offences
2. Between December 2019 and October 2020, Mahes allegedly accepted bribes totalling about $6,800 on 12 occasions from a Director of Inspiro Pte Ltd (“Inspiro”) at the material time, as a reward for recommending Inspiro to Sonnamera for the provision of manpower services at Sonnamera’s warehouse. In addition, sometime in 2019, Renitha allegedly conspired with Mahes to accept the abovementioned bribes from the Director of Inspiro as a reward for recommending Inspiro to Sonnamera for the provision of manpower services at Sonnamera’s warehouse.
3. For their actions, Mahes and Renitha face 12 charges each for offences punishable under Sections 6(a) and 6(a) read with Section 29(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act respectively.
Alleged Cheating Offence
4. On 10 February 2020, Mahes allegedly deceived Sonnamera by dishonestly concealing the fact that Smart R&R Transportation (“Smart R&R”) was owned by him. As such, Sonnamera was induced to engage Smart R&R to provide a transportation service. For his action, Mahes faces one charge for an offence punishable under Section 417 of the Penal Code.
5. 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 5 years or to both. Any person who is convicted of cheating under Section 417 of the Penal Code shall be liable to imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine, or with both.
6. 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. Guidance for companies on measures to prevent corruption can be found in PACT: A Practical Anti-Corruption Guide for Businesses in Singapore, which is available on the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s (CPIB) website. Companies are also strongly encouraged to obtain certification under the Singapore Standard (SS) ISO 37001 – Anti-Bribery Management Systems, which is designed to help companies implement or enhance an anti-bribery management system to reduce corporate risk and costs related to bribery.
- PACT: https://www.cpib.gov.sg/research-room/publications/anti-corruption-guide-for-businesses
- SS ISO 37001: https://www.cpib.gov.sg/research-room/publications/ss-iso-37001
CORRUPT PRACTICES INVESTIGATION BUREAU