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Former National Library Board manager charged with taking more than S$595,000 in bribes

SINGAPORE: A former manager at the National Library Board (NLB) was charged on Monday (Jul 23) with taking a total of S$595,230 in bribes from the director of a company.

Ivan Koh Siong Wee, 48, faces 56 charges for taking gratification from Low Pok Woen, 49, to advance Low's business interests with NLB as director of Database Resource Services.

Low also faces the same number of charges. The offences were allegedly committed between 2005 and 2009.

The pair can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to S$100,000 per charge if found guilty.

The prosecution asked for court bail of S$100,000 for each of them, but the defence asked for a lower amount, saying that "quite an amount was repaid" when the judge said that the alleged amounts involved "are quite large".

The judge set bail at S$80,000 each.

The pair will be back in court for a pre-trial conference next month.

A spokesman for NLB told Channel NewsAsia that Koh resigned and left NLB in November 2014.

Asked how the corruption was discovered, the spokesman said that the Ministry of Communications and Information made a police report in February 2014 when the Auditor-General's Office "made an observation of possible wrongdoing".

"NLB had cooperated fully with the investigation into its former employees conducted by the Commercial Affairs Department and subsequently the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau," said the spokesman.  "We take a serious view of any allegation of corruption. As the case is before the courts, we have no other comments at this time."

Source: CNA/ll(ms/hm)


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