Former Singapore resort director charged with corruption

The inside of a darkly lite casino, with an ominous statue in the foreground

An ex-director of one of Singapore’s major integrated resorts faces up to five years’ jail and/or a fine of SGD$100,000 for seven charges of corruption.

Soh Yew Meng was allegedly paid at least SGD$317,000 in bribes in the course of his position as director of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). The bribes were said to have been paid as consideration for “furthering [certain contractors’] business interests” in RWS projects, including restaurants and cafes located in the resort.

The bulk of the bribes comes from two SGD$150,000 payments made by the managing director of a furniture and construction company to Soh between 2013 and 2014 to “further the business interests” of the company. Other contractors accused of making corrupt payments to Soh include a lighting designer, a building company and a security systems business.

The charges against Soh also include three accounts of attempting to obtain corrupt benefits of an unspecified amount from a contractor and an individual.

Tan Siow Hui, a freelance quantity surveyor working with Soh, has been prosecuted for conspiring with him to receive and attempt to obtain bribes from contractors.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has identified a number of locations where the bribes were paid, including car parks and a local canteen. It emphasises that it will not hesitate to act against parties involved in corrupt practices: “Procurement systems and processes are put in place to ensure fair competition from all bidding vendors. But when individuals circumvent these processes and seek benefit for themselves, a level playing field becomes impossible to achieve.”

Last year, Singapore fell two places in the Corruption Perceptions Index ranking of least corrupt countries in the world. It currently sits at 7th place.

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Sources: The Straits Times, Today Online, Channel NewsAsia