Technical officer charged with more than 700 counts of cheating totalling about $2 million

Mohamed Sa'ad Mohamed Ali has been charged on Friday (July 22) with 718 counts of cheating - involving about $2 million - and nine charges of money laundering.
Mohamed Sa'ad Mohamed Ali has been charged on Friday (July 22) with 718 counts of cheating - involving about $2 million - and nine charges of money laundering.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A technical officer with the national water agency, PUB, was charged on Friday (July 22) with 718 counts of cheating - involving about $2 million - and nine charges of money laundering.

Mohamed Sa'ad Mohamed Ali, 42, is alleged to have deceived various employees of PUB into believing that the quotations he produced for evaluation purposes were genuinely sourced from the open market when they were not.

He also alleged to have dishonestly induced the employees to approve multiple quotations. The award of purchases were allegedly given to businesses controlled by him.

Most of the alleged offences took place between 2009 and 2012, and mainly involved small value purchases.

Sa'ad, represented by Mr Mohamed Muzammil Mohamed, is also accused of using the benefits from his criminal conduct. The amounts ranged from $18,640 to $74,870.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Aug 18.

Bail of $80,000 was allowed.

In a press statement, the PUB said that in mid-2012, its internal audit discovered anomalies in the small value purchases of mechanical equipment and general maintenance work at Choa Chu Kang Waterworks.

Sa'ad, who joined PUB in 2000, has been supervising the mechanical maintenance work at Choa Chu Kang Waterworks since October 2004.

He has been suspended from his duties since August 2012 when the matter was reported to CPIB.

PUB chief executive Ng Joo Hee noted that the agency does not tolerate dishonest and fraudulent behaviour by any of their staff or contractors.

Since the alleged cheating offences came to light, PUB has "drastically reduced" the number of small value purchases by 96 per cent, said Mr Ng.

He added that the remaining number of such purchases are now administered centrally by officers who have no involvement in operational duties.

"All these serve to remove the opportunity for collusion and misrepresentation that Mohamed Sa'ad had exploited," said Mr Ng.

The maximum punishment for cheating is 10 years' jail and a fine. If convicted of money laundering, he can be fined up to S$500,000 and jailed for up to 10 years.