Indian-origin man charged over graft offences involving $9.8mn in Singapore

An Indian-origin construction manager has been charged by a Singapore court on Friday over corruption and cheating offences involving around $9.8 million.

Harish Singhal, 59, an employee at Modec Offshore Production Systems, is accused of accepting bribes, committing money laundering, and deceiving his employer into paying nearly $8 million to another company, The Straits Times reported.

Between 2011 and 2016, Singhal allegedly conspired with four others to accept bribes for advancing business interest of a shipping company with Modec to the tune of $942,000 (Singapore $1.3 million).

Singhal is also said to have conspired with others to disguise around $313,000 of benefits from criminal conduct in the form of fictitious invoices for payments between the two companies.

Further, he allegedly conspired with Modec’s chief engineer Gopinath Kuppusamy, 52, to cheat Modec into paying around $8 million to Staghorn Marine Services, The Straits Times reported.

Singhal faces six charges for graft and four for cheating. His accomplices were also charged for graft related offences.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said in a statement on Friday that any person convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to five years.

Those convicted of cheating can be fined and jailed for up to 10 years.

“Companies are strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by their employees,” said CPIB.




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