Businessman allegedly gave $5.4 million in bribes to ex-BP executive

Koh Seng Lee allegedly gave bribes aimed at advancing the business interests of his firm to Clarence Chang Peng Hong.
Koh Seng Lee allegedly gave bribes aimed at advancing the business interests of his firm to Clarence Chang Peng Hong.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A businessman was charged on Monday (Aug 7) with giving bribes totalling US$3.95 million (S$5.4 million) to a former BP Singapore executive.

Koh Seng Lee, 55, executive director of oil trading firm Pacific Prime Trading, allegedly gave bribes of between US$100,000 and US$350,000 - on 19 occasions between July 2006 and July 2010 - to Clarence Chang Peng Hong, who was BP's regional director of marine fuels at the time.

The alleged bribes were aimed at advancing the business interests of Koh's firm.

Koh is also accused of corruptly agreeing to give $500,000 to Chang.

Chang, 52, who left the oil giant in July 2010, is facing 47 charges, including moving the corrupt proceeds through his various bank accounts and, separately, using some of the proceeds to buy property. His case is in the pre-trial conference stage.

Koh told the court that he plans to get a lawyer. The case has been adjourned and Koh's bail of $200,000 has been extended.

If convicted, he faces a fine of up to $500,000 and/or a jail term of up to five years on each corruption charge.