Two forklift truck operators employed by Cogent Container Depot Pte Ltd (“Cogent”) were each charged on Tuesday after embarking on a course of conduct to obtain small value bribes from truck drivers at Cogent.
Chen Ziliang, a 47-year-old male, was charged with one count of corruptly attempting to obtain from one Jiang Xingnian, a gratification of $1, as an inducement for not delaying the collection of a container onto Jiang’s vehicle.
In addition, Chen was also charged with one count of embarking on a course of conduct between May 2016 and March 2018 of corruptly obtaining gratification of similar value from truck drivers at Cogent, as inducement for not delaying the collection or return of containers onto the vehicles of these truck drivers.
Another 43-year-old male, Zhao Yucun was also charged with one count of embarking on a course of conduct between September 2014 and March 2018 of corruptly obtaining gratification of similar value from truck drivers at Cogent, as inducement for not delaying the collection or return of containers onto the vehicles of these truck drivers.
The actions of both forklift truck operators constitute an offence punishable under section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 241, which is an amalgamated charge pursuant to section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Chapter 68.
If convicted of their corruption offence, they can be each fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to imprisonment of up to 5 years or to both.
CPIB: One dollar bribe still an offence
The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau in its press release on Tuesday, emphasised that employees are expected to carry out their duties fairly instead of obtaining bribes in exchange for favours. Even if the bribe amount is as low as $1, they can be taken to task.
Bribes of any amount or any kind will not be tolerated, said CPIB and added, "Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. It is a serious offence to bribe, or attempt to bribe another individual or entity"