Charged for Cheating and Money Laundering Offences
On 22 July 2021, two individuals were charged in Court for cheating and money laundering offences. They are:
a) Hussain Naina Mohamed (“Hussain”) (46-year-old Indian national), Assistant Shipping Manager of Utracon Structural Systems Pte Ltd (“USSPL”) at the material time; and
b) Eldo Thottungal Mathai (“Eldo”) (66-year-old Indian national), Director of Indus Global Line Pte Ltd (“IGL”) at the material time.
2. Between 24 June 2009 and 2 January 2019, Hussain allegedly cheated USSPL and Utracon Overseas Pte Ltd (“UOPL”), by dishonestly inducing USSPL and/or UOPL to pay approximately S$1,678,400 and S$2,606,800 to Al Rahman Enterprises and Trading (“Al Rahman”) and SM Enterprises (“SME”) respectively. Hussain had allegedly concealed that he was the registered partner of Al Rahman when recommending to USSPL and UOPL that freight forwarding and marine insurance jobs be awarded to Al Rahman. Hussain had also allegedly concealed that his father was the sole proprietor of SME when recommending that USSPL procure plastic components from SME. For his actions, Hussain faces 18 charges of cheating, punishable under Section 420 of the Penal Code. 17 of these charges are amalgamated accordingly, pursuant to Section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
3. Between 14 October 2011 and 5 April 2018, Hussain and Eldo allegedly conspired to cheat USSPL and UOPL, by concealing the fact that a portion of the price stated on job quotations submitted by IGL would be paid to Hussain if these jobs were successfully awarded to IGL. By such manner of deception, the duo dishonestly induced USSPL and UOPL into making payments totalling about S$417,400 to Eldo’s company. For their actions, Hussain and Eldo each face six charges of abetment by conspiracy to cheat, which is punishable under Section 420 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code. These charges are amalgamated accordingly, pursuant to Section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Money laundering offences
4. Between May 2014 and November 2017, Hussain allegedly remitted a total sum of S$141,910 to India, which in part, directly represented the criminal proceeds derived from his alleged cheating offences. On 22 May 2018, Hussain also used a sum of S$125,000, which in part, directly represented the criminal proceeds derived from his alleged cheating offences, to purchase a Housing Development Board (HDB) flat. For his actions, Hussain faces two charges of money laundering, punishable under Section 47(6)(a) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, the first of which is amalgamated pursuant to Section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
5. Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and other criminal activities, such as cheating and money laundering. Any person who is convicted of cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property under Section 420 of the Penal Code can be sentenced to imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and also be liable for a fine. Any person who is convicted of a money laundering offence can be fined up to S$500,000 or sentenced to imprisonment for up to 7 years or to both.
6. To avoid falling victim to dishonest practices by rogue employees seeking personal gains, companies are strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit. 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 CPIB’s 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 and fraud.
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau