SINGAPORE: A former Land Transport Authority (LTA) deputy group director found guilty of taking S$1.24 million in bribes was sentenced to five-and-a-half years' imprisonment on Thursday (Sep 2).
Henry Foo Yung Thye, 47, will also serve an additional year in prison, in default of paying a penalty of about S$1.15 million for the amount of bribes not paid back.
He had earlier repaid S$83,750 of the S$1.24 million he received in corrupt gratification.
Foo, who was previously responsible for overseeing the construction of the Thomson-East Coast and Cross Island MRT lines, last week pleaded guilty to seven charges of taking bribes in the form of loans to advance the business interests of contractors and subcontractors.
Twenty-nine other charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing, which included cheating his colleagues into giving him about S$726,500 in loans to service his gambling habit and debts.
The court previously heard that the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) received an anonymous complaint in October 2018, suggesting that Foo had been soliciting loans from subcontractors in projects under his charge.
The bureau also received further information that Foo had requested financial help from the director of China Railway Tunnel Group to pay off his debts.
CPIB’s investigations found that Foo had corruptly obtained bribes in the form of loans from contractors and subcontractors to advance their business interests with LTA.
The prosecution had described his case as “the most significant case of public sector corruption” in recent times.
Prior to this, Foo's lawyer noted that Foo had a pathological gambling disorder, and would borrow money from anyone he felt close to to support his habit.
Six other individuals and one company have also been charged in relation to Foo’s offences, with two men – Daewoo Engineering and Construction project director Kim Young-gyu and project manager Ro Sung-young – each sentenced to eight months' jail for conspiring to bribe Foo with S$30,000.
Those convicted of corruption can be fined up to S$100,000, jailed for up to five years or both.
The maximum imprisonment term for each offence of corruption can be increased to seven years if it is in relation to a matter or contract with the Government or a public body, or a sub-contract to execute work comprised in such a contract.