3 men charged over bribes to obtain competitor's customer information and business

Eng Keng Hiong (left) was charged with nine counts of giving bribes while Tan Kuan Lim was charged with three counts of accepting bribes. ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Three men in the motor trade were charged on Tuesday (Aug 25) with offering and accepting bribes of about $12,000 in total between 2016 and 2017.

The first, Eng Keng Hiong, a 35-year-old Singaporean, was a motor claims consultant of SK Automobile, an automobile servicing and repair business.

He was charged with nine counts of giving bribes, amounting to about $10,900, to three service advisers of Kah Motor in exchange for diverting business from the company to SK Automobile or divulging information about Kah Motor's customers to him.

Kah Motor is the sole authorised distributor for Honda automobiles in Singapore. It also has an automobile servicing and repair business.

Eng was also charged with one count of offering $1,000 to a fourth service adviser of Kah Motor to divert business from the company to SK Automobile. This bribe was rejected by the service adviser.

Two service advisers at Kah Motor who received bribes from Eng were also charged on Tuesday.

Malaysian Tan Kuan Lim, 42, was charged with three counts of accepting bribes, amounting to about $1,400, from Eng to divert the business of Kah Motor to SK Automobile or divulge information on Kah Motor customers to Eng.

The other adviser, Yeam Wei Hong, 33, a Malaysian, was charged with two counts of accepting bribes, amounting to $1,000, from Eng for information on Kah Motor customers.

Eng's bail was set at $10,000 and he will return to court on Sept 15.

Bail for both Tan and Yeam was set at $5,000 each. Tan will return to court on Sept 25 and Yeam on Sept 22.

Of the three, Tan was the only one to indicate that he intends to plead guilty.

Court documents did not disclose details about Tan Yong Hun, the third service adviser at Kah Motor who allegedly received $8,500 in bribes from Eng. He was not charged in court on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau reiterated that Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption.

Any person convicted of a corruption offence faces a fine of up to $100,000, a jail term of up to five years, or both.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.