The Football Association of Singapore is once again in the news — this time due to four Singaporeans, including former deputy director of FAS and his wife, being charged in court for conspiring to cheat the local sports governing body out of S$639,480.
Rikram Jit Singh Randhir Singh, 40, and his wife Asya Kirin Kames, 33, were slapped on Wednesday (9 December) with 45 cheating charges each.
The Corruption Practices Investigation Bureau (CIPB) in a statement said that the FAS had awarded jobs to a company run by Asya as a result of the couple’s alleged actions.
At the time the alleged offences took place — between 2016 and 2018 — Rikram was the FAS deputy director of commercial and business development. His contract was terminated in January last year.
Asya, on the other hand, served as a director at All Resource Network between April to October 2017. The company, registered in 2014, is in the business of wholesale recreational and sporting goods.
The couple is accused of conspiring with each other as well as with another ARN director, Shankar Suppiah—who took over directorship from Asya in October 2017 — and director of events organiser Myriad Sports & Events Pallaniappan Ravindran, to cheat the FAS.
43-year-old Shanker was slapped with 37 counts of cheating, while 47-year-old Pallaniappan was slapped with 15 counts of the same.
The CIPB said in a statement that invoices submitted by ARN to the FAS had hidden Rikram’s involvement in the latter company, which led to the Association awarding jobs to the company and sending S$181,871 to the firm between 2017 to 2018.
Rikram and Asya had also allegedly submitted quotations, sometimes in cahoots with Shankar and Pallaniappan, from Myriad Sports & Events to the FAS.
These quotations also concealed Rikram’s involvement with the ARN and that the ARN would actually be the company to carry out the works.
This led to the FAS awarding Myriad Sports & Events the works and an amount of S$457,605 between 2016 to 2018 — in total, FAS was allegedly cheated out of S$639,480.
The husband and wife were offered bail at S$200,000 each while the other two were offered bail at S$50,000 each. All four will return to court in January 2021.
If convicted, they could each be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.
A FAS spokesperson told TODAY that the Association is extending its full cooperation with the authorities and are unable to comment as court proceedings are ongoing.
FAS made the news in 2017 for a different financial scandal involving former FAS president Zainudin Nordin, FAS general secretary Winston Lee, Hougang United chairman Bill Ng and his wife Bonnie Wong.
The four were let out on police bail after their arrest.
It was reported at the time that the four of them were assisting the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) in investigations into alleged misuse of funds at the Tiong Bahru Football Club (TBFC) owned by Mr Ng and an attempt by a senior club official to obstruct the completion of audits at the Singapore Premier League’s sit-out clubs.
What was also shocking about that case was that Mr Zainudin was formerly an MP of the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in 2001 before being appointed as the Chairman of the FAS.
He is also formerly a Mayor of the Central Community Development Council. Mr Zainudin stepped down from political office prior to the 2015 general election.
The status of the case from 2017 is currently unclear.