Two former Singapore shipyard execs admit to paying bribes

AUGUST 29, 2016 — Two former senior executives of Singapore shipbuilder ST Marine have admitted to giving bribes in what the Straits Times newspaper says is one of the largest corruption scandals in corporate Singapore.

Former senior vice-president Mok Kim Whang, 65, former president of commercial business Tan Mong Seng, 65, and former chief operating officer and deputy president Han Yew Kwang, 58, allegedly conspired to make more than SGD 6.5 million in false entertainment expenses between 2000 and 2009. They were charged with corruption in December 2014 and July last year.

Tan, who faces 445 charges of conspiring to make false entertainment expense claims amounting to SGD 1.6 million, is in the midst of a trial that is now under way.

Mok, who faced 826 charges of conspiring to make false entertainment expense claims of SGD 3.13 million and makingSGD 5,000 in fraudulent claims on his own, pleaded guilty to 49 charges and also pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Prevention of Corruption Act when he conspired to give bribes to employees of ST Marine's customers to secure more ship-repair contracts. The remaining 777 charges will be taken into consideration for sentencing.

Han, who faced 475 charges involving corruption and SGD1.86 million in false entertainment claims, pleaded guilty on May 10 to one corruption charge and 49 charges of conspiring to use false entries to mask bribes. The remaining charges against him will be taken into consideration for sentencing.

Both Mok and Han will be sentenced at a later date.

The Straits Times reports that according to the prosecution's statement of facts - a document setting out details of Mok's offenses, to which he had to admit without reservation - employees of ST Marine's customers would ask for "commissions" or bribes in return for giving ship-repair contracts and other business to the company.

After getting approval from key members of ST Marine's senior management, the officers who made the bribes would submit "entertainment expense" claims using petty cash vouchers.

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