Bribes for beach club renovation: Jail, fine for businessman

A businessman told a renovation contractor to mark up a quote for a project at a beach club in Sentosa by about $100,000 in return for awarding him the contract, a court heard.

Johnny Tan, 55, also asked Concepcion Interiors director Tan Kok Wah, 51, to pay him a part of the invoiced amount after each payment was received by him for the project. Mr Tan Kok Wah agreed as he understood he had to mark up the quote to secure the contract.

Johnny Tan, a shareholder of Azzura Resorts, a beach resort and water sports hub on Sentosa island, was jailed for four weeks and ordered to pay a penalty of $46,000 yesterday.

He had admitted to two of six counts of corruption: getting a $10,000 bribe on Dec 15, 2009, and a $3,000 bribe on Jan 14, 2010, from Mr Tan Kok Wah in return for awarding the interior fitting works of Azzura Resorts to Concepcion Interiors. Four other charges involving a total of $33,000 were considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmin Kaur had said that some time in June 2009, Mr Tan Kok Wah told the accused he was going to quote about $400,000 for a renovation project at Azzura. Johnny Tan then told him to mark up his quote and to pay him a portion of the invoiced amount after each payment was received for the project. Mr Tan Kok Wah submitted a marked-up quotation of $566,243, and the contract was given to Concepcion.

Mr Tan Kok Wah started the renovation in July 2009, but Johnny Tan did not have enough money to pay him in full for the project. Consequently, the sum that Mr Tan Kok Wah eventually paid Johnny Tan was not a portion of the invoiced amount. Instead, he would pay Johnny Tan ad hoc as requested after each invoice payment was made. Between July 2009 and January 2010, Mr Tan Kok Wah made several payments to Johnny Tan at the latter's request, after the invoices had been paid.

Mr Tan Kok Wah was sentenced to nine weeks' jail in April 2015 on five of 26 corruption charges. The prosecution successfully appealed and the High Court upped his sentence to 12 weeks in May last year.

Johnny Tan, represented by Mr S.S. Dhillon, could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to five years per charge.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2017, with the headline 'Bribes for beach club renovation: Jail, fine for businessman'. Print Edition | Subscribe