Airport tech officer jailed 15 months for corruption

The prosecution said Henry Goh Keng Hwee built the bribes into the contract price, effectively earning secret profits from his own employer.
The prosecution said Henry Goh Keng Hwee built the bribes into the contract price, effectively earning secret profits from his own employer.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

In charge of aircon systems, he awarded contracts and collected more than $40,000 in bribes

A former technical officer at Changi Airport was jailed 15 months for corruption yesterday after he accepted more than $40,000 in bribes in return for awarding contracts.

Henry Goh Keng Hwee, 45, was in charge of maintaining the airport's air-conditioning systems and worked for the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) before becoming an associate engineer with Changi Airport Group (CAG) when the airport was corporatised in 2009.

His duties included sourcing quotations from contractors.

In 2008, he ran into financial difficulties and Mr Kang Leong Chuan, the director of Fire-Mech, offered to help him. He said if Goh gave him a contract from the CAAS, he would pass him bribes in return.

Mr Kang, who has not been charged, suggested giving him 10 per cent of his profits from each job.

Goh thought about it and accepted the offer a few days later.

He went on to award Fire-Mech various contracts worth a total of $255,000, for both the CAAS and CAG, covering additions, alterations and a new sprinkler system, over a period of 2 1/2 years.

Goh, who lost his job in October 2011 as a result of his actions, pleaded guilty to nine of 28 charges. He was also convicted of knowingly deceiving the CAAS and CAG with quotations that were not intended to be genuine offers. He has paid back $36,000 to CAG and surrendered $9,000 to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jiang Ke-Yue, who had sought a stiff sentence, said Goh abused his position of responsibility and betrayed the trust placed in him. He said Goh had built the bribes into the contract price, effectively earning secret profits from his own employer.

Mr Jiang said he even resorted to using false quotations to justify his recommendations to award the contract to the giver's company.

Goh, represented by Mr S. Balamurugan, could have been fined a maximum of $100,000 and jailed for up to five years on each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'Airport tech officer jailed 15 months for corruption'. Print Edition | Subscribe