Friday, April 9, 2021

Former Singapore Management University associate director charged with bribery

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A former Singapore Management University (SMU) associate director was on Tuesday (March 23) charged with accepting $472,000 in bribes.

Christopher Tan Toh Nghee had allegedly accepted illegal funds from three men to advance their business interests with the university between August 2017 and November 2019.

According to Tan’s LinkedIn profile, he was the associate director of business development at SMU. His employment with the university ceased in January last year.

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The 43-year-old faces 50 charges for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The three men, who were also charged on Tuesday, are International Alliance Marketing director Kenneth Lum Hsien Loong, CJ Synergy director Cher Kheng Than and Assetualize managing director Jeffery Long Chee Kin.

Lum faces 35 charges for offering the bribes, while Long and Cher face eight and seven charges respectively for such offences.

Tan and Cher also each face one charge of giving false information to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and one charge of intentionally obstructing the course of justice.

According to court documents, Tan had allegedly given false information to CPIB officers that the money given to him by Cher was for the repayment of a loan.

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Tan also allegedly deleted an electronic note from his mobile phone that contained records of the payments he had received and expected to receive from Lum, Cher and Long.

Cher had allegedly deleted WhatsApp chat logs with Tan and an electronic note from his phone that contained records of payments he gave to Tan.

All four will return to court on April 20.

An SMU spokesman said the university takes a strong stand against any form of misconduct.

“We expect all our employees to observe the highest standards of conduct and obey the law at all times as they perform their duties. As the case is currently before the courts, it would not be appropriate for SMU to comment further,” he said.

For each count of corruption, offenders can be jailed for up to five years or fined up to $100,000, or both.

For giving false information relating to corruption offences, a person may be jailed for up to a year or fined up to $10,000, or both.

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A person convicted of intentionally obstructing the course of justice can be jailed for up to seven years or fined, or both.

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