Wednesday, 4 October 2023

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Transport Minister S. Iswaran arrested by CPIB and placed on bail amid investigations

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s Transport Minister S. Iswaran was arrested this Tuesday (11 Jul) in connection with a corruption investigation, as was revealed by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Friday.

Both Minister Iswaran and Malaysian tycoon Ong Beng Seng have since been released on bail.

The information surfaced following inquiries from Channel News Asia concerning the arrest of Ong Beng Seng, a billionaire businessman who has been called upon by CPIB to provide information concerning his interactions with Minister Iswaran.

Ong’s arrest was first disclosed by his company, Hotel Properties Limited, earlier the same day. This disclosure came a day after The Online Citizen Asia (TOC) published allegations that Ong had been asked to assist in a CPIB investigation related to rumors linked to the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, an event chiefly organized by Ong.

Details of the investigation, however, remain undisclosed.

The CPIB said earlier on Wednesday that Minister Iswaran was assisting with an undisclosed case it was investigating.

As part of their bail conditions, the passports of both men have been impounded, according to the CPIB.

The bureau also added, “Subjects on bail can however make requests to travel overseas. CPIB will assess such requests on a case-by-case basis.”

In the case of Ong, the CPIB has evaluated and granted his request to travel overseas. In light of this, his bail quantum has been increased to S$100,000. The bail quantum for Minister Iswaran has not been disclosed by the bureau.

Upon his return, Ong is mandated to report to the CPIB and surrender his passport, as stipulated by the agency.

The exact details and nature of the corruption case involving the two high-profile figures remain under wraps, and no further details have been provided by the CPIB at this time.

Ong, who is the founder of the Singapore-based organization Hotel Properties and a shareholder in many businesses, has a net worth of S$1.7 billion.

Together with his wife Christina, they ranked No. 25 on Forbes’ Singapore’s 50 Richest list, which was published in August 2022.

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