Paying the Penalty for Corruptly Advancing Business Interests
Corruption disrupts honest and fair competition in procurement and the awarding of business contracts. Those who engage in corrupt acts to gain an unfair advantage over others will face the consequences under the law.
2. Previously on 3 June 2020, Song Loo San (“Song”), 宋如山, a 71-year-old Singaporean male, and Heng Chee Gim (“Heng”), 王志锦, a 47-year-old Singaporean male, were charged with corruption involving USD$27,300. At the material time, Song was employed as a Senior Marketing Manager of ATI Freight Pte Ltd (“ATI”), which is in the logistics business relating to the transport of chemicals using International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) tanks. Heng was employed as a Marine Logistics Manager of Sasol Chemicals Pacific Ltd (“Sasol”), which is in the business of manufacturing chemicals and allied products.
3. Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that sometime in early 2016, Song (ATI) had arranged for a business meet up with Heng (Sasol). Song subsequently asked Heng if he could help secure a tender for the provision of ISO tanks to Sasol and told Heng that if ATI was successfully awarded the ISO tank job from Sasol, Heng would receive a commission of USD$50 per ISO tank which Sasol rented. Heng agreed and gave Song privileged information concerning the previous prices quoted by other operators so that Song could quote the best price and secure the contract from Sasol. In return, Song corruptly gave Heng a total of USD$27,300 in cash on at least 34 occasions from January 2016 to October 2018, as a reward for advancing ATI’s business interests with Sasol.
4. For their respective offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Song was earlier sentenced to eight (8) weeks’ imprisonment on 12 October 2020, while Heng was sentenced to a fine of S$36,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of S$11,540 on 29 June 2021.
5. Singapore adopts a 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.
6. Companies are strongly advised to put in place an anti-bribery management system to reduce the incidence of corruption. 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 reputational costs.
CORRUPT PRACTICES INVESTIGATION BUREAU