Managing director of fish wholesale firm gave $220,500 in bribes to FairPrice employees, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Managing director of fish wholesale firm gave $220,500 in bribes to FairPrice employees

The managing director of a fish wholesale company gave at least $220,500 in bribes to FairPrice employees to advance the business interests of his firm with the supermarket chain.

Ng Keng Meng, who was also a partner at Nam Soon Sin Kee & Co at the time, committed the offences between 2013 and 2020.

On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to three graft charges involving $90,000.

Six other similar charges involving the remaining $130,500 will be taken into consideration during sentencing.

Ng, 59, also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of causing hurt to two people while driving a van in a dangerous manner.

According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Ng used to be an owner of Nam Soon Sin Kee & Co. He was also a manager there until 2016.

Two former FairPrice employees linked to his case were dealt with in court earlier.

Lim Kian Kok, then 48, who used to be a senior team leader at the supermarket chain, was sentenced to four years and five months’ jail in March 2023 after pleading guilty to 12 graft charges.

Former FairPrice team leader See Hock Lam, then 70, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of corruption, was sentenced to three years and two months’ jail the following month.

The pair’s offences involved several firms including Nam Soon Sin Kee & Co. Lim and See had split their ill-gotten gains equally, with each receiving $261,500.

Their offences included ordering larger quantities of fish and seafood from suppliers that bribed them.

See joined FairPrice in 1997 and later reported to Lim. See’s duties included helping Lim order crab and prawns.

Lim, who joined FairPrice in 2007, became a senior team leader in 2013 and oversaw its buying operations at Jurong Fishery Port. He also had the discretion to determine which suppliers to buy fish from.

Shortly after he became a senior team leader, he approached See and asked the older man if he “wanted to make money”.

See agreed to the plan as he needed cash to feed his gambling habit. The pair later approached multiple suppliers for bribes.

At Lim’s suggestion, See told Ng some time on or before July 2013, that Lim will purchase more fish from Nam Soon Sin Kee & Co if Ng gave them $2,500 a month.

Ng agreed and at the end of each month, he would give See the monies in cash at a carpark near See’s home.

There were also times when Ng would place the cash in a mailbox.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Pei Wei said that Lim then purchased larger quantities of seafood from Nam Soon Sin Kee & Co.

Ng handed over the monies until September 2020 when the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau started looking into the case.

In an unrelated case, he was driving a van along Jalan Anak Bukit towards Upper Bukit Timah Road at around 7pm on March 8, 2022, when he came to a signalised cross junction

Realising that he was heading in the wrong direction, Ng made a right turn into the junction towards the Pan Island Expressway even though the right-turning arrow was red at the time.

His vehicle then struck the left side of another van which moved to the left and hit the rear of a car.

Ng’s van veered right and mounted the centre divider kerb before hitting a traffic light and a directional sign.

Due to the impact, the sign got damaged and the traffic light pole became slanted.

The drivers of the car and the other van suffered whiplash injuries. They sought medical treatment the next day.

Ng is expected to be sentenced in August.

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