Bakery owner gets 3 weeks' jail for bribing 2 hotel chefs

SINGAPORE - A bakery owner who conspired with his wife to corruptly give bribes to two hotel chefs to advance the bakery's business interests with the hotels was sentenced to three weeks' jail on Monday (Nov 7).

On 64 occasions between November 2008 and January 2014, Tay Kong Beng, 56, and his wife, Koh Li Li, transferred a total of $14,240 to Chow Pak Chow alias Raymond Chow, then chef of the Sun Cafe at Hotel Grand Pacific.

During the same period, Tay had schemed with his wife to give $5,255 to Patrick Yeo Teck Gin, then the executive chef of Bayview Hotel. Tay pleaded guilty to two counts of corruption.

Chow, 56, and Tay, 49, have been dealt with. They were fined $12,000 and $6,000 respectively in 2015, and ordered to pay the bribes they took as penalties.

Chow Pak Chow, one of two hotel chefs who accepted bribes from a bakery owner in return for continuing to place orders with the company. PHOTO: ST FILE

Koh, whose case is pending, joined Baker's Heaven, owned by Tay, in 2005. She started out in Baker's Heaven's operations department, but subsequently transferred to the sales department. The couple married in 2009 or 2010.

Baker's Heaven, which commenced operations in 1991, makes baked goods, including various types of bread, cakes and puffs, for hotels, clubs, cafes, restaurants and caterers.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Alexander Woon said that in 2008, Tay and Koh entered into an agreement to pay Chow "commissions" in exchange for Chow ensuring that Hotel Grand Pacific would continue ordering baked goods from Baker's Heaven.

Tay would make a telegraphic transfer once a month from his POSB bank account to Chow's bank account. The amount transferred was calculated based on the total amount of sales made by Baker's Heaven to the hotel in the preceding month.

Chow would get an amount equal to 2 to 5 per cent of the total sales value.

On some occasions, for example during the Chinese New Year period, Tay would pay Chow more to "keep him happy" and induce him to continue to get Hotel Grand Pacific to order goods from Baker's Heaven.

In Yeo's case, the couple transferred a total of $5,255 to Yeo's bank account on 64 separate occasions in exchange for Bayview Hotel's business.

Tay was allowed to defer sentence until Nov 21 to settle his business affairs.

The maximum penalty for corruption is a $100,000 fine and five years' jail.

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