A former high-ranking official at Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) – the government body responsible for commissioning road and transit projects – was charged on Friday, 24 July with seeking personal loans totalling some S$1.2m (US$880,000) from contractors in return for LTA favours.
Six directors of construction firms, and China Railway Tunnel Group Co. as a company, have also been charged with corruption offences after the probe by Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
46-year-old Henry Foo Yung Thye, described as having a gambling habit and debts, was Deputy Group Director at the LTA but now faces possibly years in prison if convicted.
On top of seeking S$1.2m from construction companies, the CPIB alleges that Foo got loans totalling approximately $726,500 from his own colleagues at the LTA between 2008 and 2019, concealing from them that the loans were needed to service his gambling habit and debts.
CPIB alleges that Foo got loans from contractors between 2014 and last year.
China Railway Tunnel Group Co. is accused of giving loans totalling approximately $220,000 to Foo as inducement to advance its business interests with the LTA. It faces three charges.
The individual company directors charged are as follows:
- Cai Jungang, Director of Tritech Engineering & Testing faces seven charges and is accused of lending Foo approximately $285,000 in total;
- Zhang Xihu, Director of MEPT Engineering, faces seven charges and is accused of lending Foo approximately $325,000 in total;
- Pay Teow Heng and Pek Lian Guan, respectively Director and Managing Director of Tiong Seng Contractors, face two charges each and are accused of conspiring to lend approximately $350,000 to Foo;
- Kim Young-Gyu, Project Director of Daewoo Engineering & Construction faces two charges and is accused of conspiring to lend approximately $50,000 to Foo (Daewoo project manager Ro Sungyoung faces two charges as well);
- Chen Xuguang, Director of Tong Sheng Construction & Trading, faces two charges and is accused of abetting the falsification of Tong Sheng invoices in relation to the offences involving the payments to Foo from China Railway Tunnel Group Co. (Tong Sheng was a subcontractor of CRTG).
"Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and fraud," said CPIB. "Bribery, cheating and the falsification of accounts are serious offences."
Image: City Hall MRT Station, Singapore. The Land Transport Authority is responsible for commissioning transit systems (Terence Ong/CC BY-SA 3.0)