Two chefs fined for accepting bribes from a seafood supplier

Two former top chefs received their just desserts Tuesday for accepting bribes from a seafood supplier.

Go Choon Heng, 41, former senior Chinese chef at Hilton Hotel, was fined $5,000 for accepting $4,496 in bribes, Ng Wai Tong, 52, former master chef of the Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at Parkroyal Hotel was fined $6,000 for pocketing $5,811. They were also ordered to return the full amount of bribes to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Now unemployed, the two chefs pleaded guilty in December to receiving the money from Tay Ee Tiong, 56, the sole proprietor of Wealthy Seafood Product and Enterprise in 2009. In return, both recommended that their restaurants buy seafood from Tay's firm.

Tay had been sentenced to 1½ years in jail in 2011. He had pleaded guilty to giving nearly $1 million in bribes to 19 chefs from 17 hotels and restaurants.

Arguing for a lenient sentence, Go's lawyer, Mr Ahmad Nizam Abbas said that the amount of bribes was small and that it was Tay who had approached his client in early 2009 to offer a commission for purchases of seafood placed by Hilton.

Ng's lawyer, Mr Walter Ferix said that Tay had given his client the money in a red packet on March 15, 2009, soon after Chinese New Year. Ng had considered this a sign of good fortune and prosperity for the coming year and used about $2,000 to treat his staff to a meal and for red packets for them.

So far, four chefs have been dealt with. Two other cases are pending.