CPIB officer facing fraud charges: If allegations are true, Government must deal with it firmly

If allegations against the anti-graft officer who was charged in court earlier on Wednesday for misappropriating public funds are true, the Government will have to deal with it decisively and firmly, said Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

"Inevitably with human nature, you will have people who succumb to temptation, who do things they aren't supposed to do - whether in the Civil Service, banks, law firms or in institutions despite having the best controls," said Mr Shanmugam, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of this year's Singapore Law Week, held at the Supreme Court. "What we need to do is always be vigilant, be on top of it, and make sure these are the exceptions and they don't become the norm."

Edwin Yeo Seow Hiong, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau's (CPIB) head of field research and technical support, was charged in court earlier with a total of 21 charges, including fraud and other related offences.

Prosecutors told the court that the first eight charges Yeo faces amount to a staggering $1.7 million worth of public funds.

Mr Shanmugam, who is also Foreign Minister, said the Government must ensure these cases remain the exceptions. "And you do this by ensuring there are enough checks and balances, there's a high possibility that people will get caught, and when they do get caught, you deal with them very firmly.

"Do that, then you ensure the entire system is clean and the transgressors are a minority."