Employees should not seek to obtain bribes as a reward for favouring certain suppliers. Neither should suppliers illegally give kickbacks to secure business contracts. Such practices undermine fair business competition and drive up the cost of doing business. Those who engage in such corrupt acts for their own benefit will be taken to task.
2 On 5 October 2020, Aw Ke Hong (“Aw”), 欧可鸿, a 35-year-old Singaporean male, and Lee Chee Wee (“Lee”), 李志伟, a 36-year-old Singaporean male, were each sentenced to a fine of $5,400 respectively for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Penal Code. Liu Weide (“Liu”), 劉瑋德, a 31-year-old Singaporean male, was earlier sentenced to a fine of $3,000 and a penalty of $2,400 on 22 June 2020 for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
3 Liu, who was the Assistant Manager in the employment of Essential Werkz Pte Ltd (“Essential Werkz”) at the material time, had corruptly received a total of $2,400 from Aw and Lee, both Directors of Show Wild Pte Ltd (“Show Wild”), as a reward for recommending Show Wild to be the network solutions supplier for Essential Werkz. In addition to conspiring to give the bribes to Liu, Aw and Lee conspired to falsely account for the payments by making false entries in Show Wild’s Profit and Loss Statements.
4 Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that sometime between May 2016 and March 2017, on four occasions, Liu (Essential Werkz) had requested for quotations from Aw (Show Wild) pertaining to network solutions for Essential Werkz’s IT-related events. Liu would also request a commission from Aw for recommending Show Wild to be the network solutions supplier for Essential Werkz. On each occasion, Aw and Lee discussed Liu’s request and they both agreed on the sum to be given to Liu. Either Aw or Lee would then pass the corrupt fees to Liu.
5 To cover up these corrupt payments, Aw made false entries to account for them as expenses in Show Wild’s Profit and Loss Statements. These occurred on four occasions sometime between June 2016 and March 2017. Lee was aware of the false entries as he had checked and approved the Profit and Loss Statements.
6 Aw, Lee and Liu were subsequently charged in court on 3 June 2020 with four counts of corruption offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. In addition, Aw and Lee were charged with four counts of conspiring to falsify accounts under the Penal Code.
7Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and other criminal activities. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to imprisonment of up to 5 years or to both. Any person who is convicted of the falsification of accounts wilfully and with the intention to defraud can be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 10 years, or to a fine, or both.
8Companies are strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit 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, which is designed to help companies implement or enhance an anti-bribery management system to reduce corporate risk and costs related to bribery.