A Bitter Pill To Swallow
Individuals who are tempted by greed, and who do not conduct business dealings in a clean and transparent manner will eventually have to face severe consequences.
2. Christopher Chong Meng Tak (张明德), a 62-year-old Malaysian male, was an independent director of Singapore O&G Ltd (“SOG”) at the material time of the offences as well as a Director of Paromay Limited (“Paromay”). On 27 February 2020, he will be charged with the following:
a) One count of cheating SOG by dishonestly concealing from SOG the fact that he had an interest in Paromay and that Paromay would receive S$1.5 million from one Dr. Joyce Lim Teng Ee (“Dr Joyce”) in connection with the acquisition of Dr. Joyce’s business and medical practices by SOG. By such manner of deception, SOG was dishonestly induced to pay the sum of S$26.5 million to Dr. Joyce. This constitutes an offence punishable under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
b) One count of cheating Bank Julius Baer by falsely representing that he had received S$1.5 million in “shadow equity” paid by Dr. Joyce in connection with her sale of her business and medical practices to SOG. By such manner of deception, Bank Julius Baer was dishonestly induced to accept the cheque for S$1.5 million issued by Dr. Joyce and to consent to retaining the sum in Paromay’s bank account with Bank Julius Baer. This constitutes an offence punishable under Section 417 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
3. Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and any other criminal activity. Any person who is convicted of a cheating offence can be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 3 years or be fined, or to both. In addition, any person who cheats and dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, can be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 10 years or be fined, or to both.
4. To avoid falling victim to corrupt practices by rogue employees seeking personal gains, companies are strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit. Guidance for companies on measures to prevent corruption can be found in PACT: A Practical Anti-Corruption Guide for Businesses in Singapore, which is available on CPIB’s website. Companies are also strongly encouraged to obtain certification under the Singapore Standard (SS) ISO 37001, which is designed to help companies implement or enhance an anti-bribery management system to reduce corporate risk and costs related to bribery.
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau