Former BP director jailed, ordered to pay more than S$6 million for taking bribes

Former BP director jailed, ordered to pay more than S$6 million for taking bribes

SINGAPORE: A former director of BP Singapore was jailed for 54 months and ordered to pay a penalty of about S$6.22 million on Tuesday (May 11) for taking bribes.

Clarence Chang Peng Hong had suggested that Koh Seng Lee set up Pacific Prime Trading, a petroleum and petroleum products wholesaler, to be a trading counterpart of BP.

This was "on the understanding that Chang would advance the business interest of (Pacific Prime Trading) with BP and would therefore be entitled to payments in return", said the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in a press release.

Between July 2006 and July 2010, Koh, the executive director of Pacific Prime Trading, gave US$3.95 million (S$5.2 million) to Chang pursuant to their agreement.

Koh also agreed to give Chang S$500,000 as a form of investment into an education business franchise that Chang's wife was involved in.

Chang and Koh were convicted of corruption in July last year. On Monday, Koh was also sentenced to 54 months' imprisonment.

Chang, who was BP's former eastern regional director for marine fuels, separately faces money laundering charges.

He allegedly transferred almost S$4.7 million worth of corrupt proceeds from an HSBC bank account in Hong Kong to a POSB account and two other HSBC accounts in Singapore.

Chang is suspected of converting nearly S$4 million to buy three private landed properties and two condominium apartments. That amount was wholly or partially the direct or indirect benefits of corrupt proceeds, said CPIB.

He was also charged with converting S$111,000 worth of corrupt proceeds to acquire share capital in a pre-school.

The money laundering charges were stood down for the purpose of the corruption trial and will be dealt with subsequently, said CPIB.

READ: Number of corruption-related reports at 5-year low: CPIB

Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence in Singapore can be jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$100,000 or both.

Anyone guilty of accepting gratification can also be ordered to pay a penalty equal to the amount of that gratification.

Those convicted of a money laundering offence can be jailed for up to seven years, fined up to S$500,000 or both.

"To avoid falling victim to dishonest 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," said CPIB.

Companies can refer to CPIB's guidance on measures to prevent corruption, and are strongly encouraged to obtain certification on anti-bribery management systems, said the bureau.

Source: CNA/dv

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