A pair of siblings learnt that the long arm of the law extends well beyond Singapore when they were taken to court over alleged bribes accepted in China.
Singaporeans Judy Teo Suya Bik,65, and her brother Teo Chu Ha, alias Henry Teo, 68, were allegedly involved in corruption in Shanghai between April 2007 and November 2010. Yesterday, the pair were each charged with 50 counts of corruption-related offences involving about 11.1 million yuan (S$2.3 million).
In a release, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said that Singaporeans who commit corrupt acts overseas can be taken to task by the authorities here under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency noted that the Act has provisions for extraterritorial powers over a Singapore citizen.
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The court heard that Judy Teo allegedly obtained the bribes from Shanghai Long-Distance Transportation and Feili International Transport as a reward for helping them secure contracts with Seagate Technology International. Henry Teo was then the Seagate senior director of logistics.
Judy Teo allegedly helped the Chinese firms by providing them with confidential information obtained from her brother. Henry Teo, who currently owns a Singapore-based company known as Ampro Tools Enterprise, is accused of abetting his sister by engaging in a conspiracy with her to obtain the bribes.
The siblings are also accused of one count each of an offence under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.
In 2012, Henry Teo allegedly used $703,480 - benefits of his sister's purported criminal conduct - to buy, in her name, a unit on the fourth storey of Summerhill condominium in Hume Avenue.
Judy Teo is accused of abetting the offence by instigating him to use the money to buy the property.
The siblings, who were not represented by a lawyer, told the court yesterday that they intend to engage one. They also said they will be claiming trial. The pair are out on bail and will be back in court on July 13.
CPIB said it worked with the Chinese authorities in investigating the case and received valuable assistance from them. It added: "Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. The CPIB takes a serious view of any corrupt and criminal practices, and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in such acts."
Offenders convicted of corruption can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000 on each charge.