A former senior procurement officer with Keppel Shipyard in Singapore pocketed more than S$740,000 in kickbacks over a 14-year period. He was sentenced to one year and nine months’ jail on April 17.
Neo Kian Siong, 63, used part of the criminal proceeds to pay the outstanding loan on a condominium, and buy two cars.
At the State Courts on Friday (15 February), Neo pleaded guilty to 26 charges of graft and 28 counts involving criminal proceeds.
Another 52 charges of corruption and 289 counts involving criminal proceeds will be considered for his sentencing at a later date.
Neo joined Keppel Shipyard in 1981 as a clerical assistant. He took his first kickback of $4,000 in 2000, when he was a senior purchasing/stores coordinator. He was then responsible for procuring supplies, including raw materials, pipes and pipe fittings.
Neo was heavily involved in the purchasing of items. In 2014 alone, he handled 8,000 purchase orders. He had the discretion to choose suitable suppliers for a given need and to issue requests for quotations to these suppliers. He also had access to prices quoted by suppliers, which was confidential information.
But Neo took bribes from suppliers in return for revealing quotes submitted by other suppliers to Keppel Shipyard. This allowed complicit suppliers to submit the lowest quote and thereby obtain orders from the shipyard.
He admitted that he would also try to invite corrupt suppliers to bid for the company’s orders and then award the orders to them.
Neo is sentenced on 17 April to 21 months’ jail. In his mitigation plea, his lawyer Raymond Lye, who sought 15 months’ imprisonment for his client, told the court that Neo has made full restitution.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Sng asked for 22 months’ jail instead, noting that Neo’s offences were “sustained and persistent”, and his actions had undermined the fairness of the bidding process.
Credit: Yahoo News Singapore, Today