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Singapore

Sherwood Condominium property officer, security firm director fined for bribery

Sherwood Condominium property officer, security firm director fined for bribery

Sherwood Condominium in Toh Tuck. (Screengrab: Google Maps)

SINGAPORE: A property officer and a director of a security firm have been fined in a bribery case involving the award of security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium.

Alvin Koh Lai Heng, an employee of Smart Property Management (Singapore) who was deployed at Sherwood Condominium at the time of the offence, was fined S$4,500 and given a penalty of S$1,300 on Friday (Aug 13), said the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

In July 2018, Koh approached several security service providers to submit quotations for security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium, the agency said in a press release.

One of the companies was Cominco, whose director at the time of the offence was Gopalakrishnan Venkatesan.

CPIB's investigations revealed that Koh arranged in the same month a site visit and lunch with Gopalakrishnan to discuss the job requirements.

"Over lunch, the discussion between Koh and Gopalakrishnan pertained to whether Koh could help Cominco secure the security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium by recommending Cominco to the Management Corporation Strata Title’s (MCST’s) management council," said CPIB.

"In return, Koh would receive commissions from Gopalakrishnan if Cominco was successfully awarded the security service contracts at Sherwood Condominium."

In August the same year, Cominco was awarded upon Koh's recommendation two security service contracts worth S$211,400 at Sherwood Condominium.

Thereafter, Koh received a total of S$1,300 in commission from Gopalakrishnan on two occasions, CPIB said.

The two were charged on Jun 25, 2021. Gopalakrishnan was fined S$3,900 for corruption on Wednesday.

"Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to S$100,000 or sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years or to both," said CPIB.

It added that the public and management councils of MCSTs should remain vigilant and report any suspected corruption offences to CPIB or suspected cheating offences to the police.

Feedback from MCSTs relating to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act should be reported to the Building and Construction Authority.

Source: CNA/jt

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