Saturday, October 31, 2020

Former Singapore transport director indicted for corruption


A former deputy group director at the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been charged with a string of corruption and cheating offences allegedly committed between 2008 and 2019.

On Friday (July 24), Henry Foo Yung Thye and seven other individuals, as well as the Singapore branch of a Chinese civil engineering company, were hauled to court.

Foo, 46, was charged with 22 counts of taking bribes in the form of loans — totalling about S$1.24 million — from LTA’s contractors or sub-contractors between 2014 and 2019.

He is also accused of attempting to obtain gratification of about S$30,000 by way of a loan from an LTA sub-contractor early last year, so as to advance the sub-contractor’s business interests with LTA.

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In response to TODAY’s queries about the transport projects that these contracts involved and if it would review the contracts awarded, LTA said that it could not comment on the matter because the case is before the court.

In addition, Foo is facing 13 cheating charges. Between 2008 and 2019, he allegedly cheated various colleagues into giving him about S$726,500 in loans.

He is believed to have lied to them that the loans were meant to service his gambling habit and debts.

Foo appeared in court without a lawyer and said that he intends to plead guilty to the corruption charges.

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While the prosecution sought S$500,000 bail, District Judge Terence Tay said that this was “somewhat excessive” and offered half that amount. Foo had asked for a lower bail amount, as he wanted to see his children.

He will return to court on Aug 20 for a pre-trial conference.


Most of the other individuals and the company charged on Friday are accused of bribing Foo to advance their business interests with LTA:

Cai Jungang, 56, faces seven charges. The Chinese national and director of geotechnical firm Tritech Engineering & Testing is accused of bribing Foo with S$285,000

Zhang Xihu, a 52-year-old Singaporean, faces seven charges. The director of tunnelling materials firm MEPT Engineering allegedly gave Foo S$325,000 in bribes

Pay Teow Heng, 52, and Pek Lian Guan, 55, are accused of conspiring to give Foo S$350,000 in bribes. Pay was the director of civil engineering firm Tiong Seng Contractors, and Pek was its managing director

Ro Sungyoung, 48, and Kim Young-Gyu, 51, who are South Koreans, allegedly conspired to bribe Foo with S$50,000. Ro was a project manager at construction firm Daewoo Engineering & Construction, and Kim was the firm’s project director

The Singapore branch of the China Railway Tunnel Group is believed to have given Foo S$220,000 in bribes

Chen Xuguang, 53, director of Tong Cheng Construction & Trading, a sub-contractor of China Railway Tunnel, was charged with two counts of abetting the falsification of Tong Cheng’s invoices

Corruption offences carry a fine of up to S$100,000 or five years’ jail, or both.

The maximum jail term can go up to seven years for each corruption offence if it is related to a matter or contract with the Government or public body, or a sub-contract to perform work under such a contract.

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If convicted of cheating, Foo could also be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said in a press release on the case that Singapore takes a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and fraud.

“Bribery, cheating and the falsification of accounts are serious offences,” it said.


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