Former Keppel Fels executives fined for corruption charges over nearly S$60,000 in bribes

Former Keppel Fels executives fined for corruption charges over nearly S$60,000 in bribes

SINGAPORE — Former senior executives of offshore structure builder Keppel Fels, Wong Kok Seng and Tan Seng Cheh, have been fined after being charged with corruption offenses that involved overseas trips worth almost $60,000.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) had charged Tan Seng Cheh and Wong Kok Seng with corruption earlier on 6 January. It is said that Thong Chee Kong, a former regional general manager at Corus South East Asia, allegedly bribed the two executives to advance Keppel’s business interests with Corus Sea. Wong was a senior general manager of group procurement at Keppel Fels while Tan was a senior sub-contract manager and assistant general manager at the same company.

Thong allegedly provided Tan with a non-genuine quotation from a competitor company for Keppel Fel’s scrap steel, and Tan used it to mislead Keppel Fels into selling scrap steel to Corus Sea.

Wong faces one charge under Section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Tan faces one and three charges under Section 6(c) and 6(a).

They were no longer with Keppel Fels when the charges were brought.

Tan’s charges amounted to $53,672.35. He has made restitution of $50,000 and was fined $85,000 on Friday in addition to a penalty of $3,672.35. Three other charges linked to the remaining amount were considered during sentencing.

Wong, who has made full restitution, pleaded guilty to a graft charge on Friday and was fined $15,000.

Between 2007 and 2008, Thong allegedly paid for Tan’s trips to Japan and Italy, worth over S$50,000. In 2006, Thong reportedly paid for Wong’s and his wife’s trip to China, costing S$5,850. Thong allegedly gave these bribes to advance the business interest of Corus Sea with Keppel Fels.

Thong left Singapore in 2008 and was arrested on his return in 2022. Thong faces one charge under Section 6(c) and four charges under Section 6(b).

His case is still pending.

The CPIB has urged companies to establish robust procedures in procurement and internal audit to prevent corrupt acts by their employees following the case.

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