E-book aims to raise awareness of graft in S'pore among teens

It features 16 cases of corruption such as fixing of a football match, attempted bribery of policemen

Many people are heedless of the corruption that exists in squeaky clean Singapore, but graft remains prevalent.

To get teenagers to be aware of cases of corruption, Singapore's graft busters have launched an e-book titled The Corruption Casebook - Stories From Under The Table.

It is available for download on the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau's (CPIB) website at cpib.gov.sg.

Here are some of the 16 cases from the e-book:

PREVENTING THE BREEDING OF CORRUPTION

Singaporean Tung Chee Keong and Indian national Chandran Jeganathan were working for Killem Pest, a contractor engaged by the National Environment Agency (NEA), when they agreed to alert a site manager about upcoming mosquito breeding inspections.

In return, Muthukaruppan Periyasamy, construction site manager at Fenzhii Engineering as well as Ramo Industries, paid them bribes.

Investigations revealed that Tung and Chandran were working as vector control workers in 2018.

Their company, Killem, was hired as a term contractor to help NEA officers control pests such as mosquitoes.

As part of their work, both men followed NEA officers on inspections at construction sites to look for mosquito breeding grounds.

Between January and April 2018, mosquito breeding grounds were found on two occasions at a construction site managed by Muthukaruppan, an Indian national. He knew that if there was another violation, a stop-work order would be imposed.

A corrupt arrangement was then made where Muthukaruppan offered Tung and Chandran a sum of $400 a month for advance notification of mosquito breeding inspections at a construction site he was overseeing. This arrangement went on for four months, and the monies were split between Tung and Chandran, with Tung receiving $1,000 and Chandran receiving $600.

The e-book, titled The Corruption Casebook - Stories From Under The Table, is available for download on the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau's website at cpib.gov.sg.
The e-book, titled The Corruption Casebook - Stories From Under The Table, is available for download on the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau's website at cpib.gov.sg. PHOTO: CORRUPT PRACTICES INVESTIGATION BUREAU

On March 18, 2019, Tung was sentenced to 11 weeks' jail and Chandran was given a six-week term.

On May 2 the same year, Muthukaruppan was sentenced to six weeks' jail for corruptly giving gratification of $1,600.

$1 BRIBES ADD UP TO THOUSANDS

In 2018, two Chinese nationals were charged over bribes of $1 - one of the lowest amounts involved in a corruption case.

Chen Ziliang and Zhao Yucun regularly collected $1 bribes from truck drivers in exchange for not delaying the loading and unloading of vehicles. As forklift operators, their job was to load and unload containers onto and from trucks.

Their corrupt practice came to light when a truck driver complained to Chen after having to queue a long time. Chen told the driver it was the norm for truck drivers to pay $1, or risk having to wait longer in the queue or be given containers that were in a bad condition.

Chen and Zhao, who were then both working for Cogent Container Depot, took between $7 and $10 daily from truck drivers.

Between February 2016 and March 2018, Chen was estimated to have collected about $4,872.50 in bribes. Zhao was estimated to have taken $10,865.50 in bribes between September 2013 and March 2018.

Chen was sentenced to two months in prison and ordered to pay a penalty of $4,870.50 while Zhao was sentenced to four months in jail and ordered to pay a penalty of $10,863.

ATTEMPTED BRIBERY TO GET AWAY WITH VICE

Moldova national Belousova Natalia was not on holiday in Singapore when the authorities approached her at the Swissotel The Stamford on April 11, 2017, over suspected involvement in vice activities.

While being arrested, Belousova offered "money and gifts" to three police officers in exchange for her release. She did this despite being warned that it was an offence.

The police officers did not accept her offer.

In Singapore, it is an offence to bribe, or attempt to bribe public officers. Belousova was charged in court and sentenced on May 11, 2017, to four weeks' jail for attempting to bribe three officers.

HEAVY PENALTY FOR FIXING ONE MATCH

Rajendran R. Kurusamy was given the stiffest sentence ever imposed for a single match-fixing charge after he tried to get the Timor-Leste team to lose to Malaysia in a SEA Games match.

Rajendran, a supervisor at a construction company, had paid team manager Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes and at least seven players of the Timor-Leste SEA Games football team to throw a game. He wanted the team to not concede a goal in the first 20 minutes but eventually play to lose to Malaysia by a few goals. He bribed Orlando with $15,000 and each player with $4,000.

But two days before the match, Rajendran, Orlando, Indonesian Nasiruddin (former referee) and Moises Natalino de Jesus (former Timor Leste player) were arrested by the CPIB.

Malaysia went on to win the match 1-0.

Rajendran was known to the authorities here. Public prosecutors had described him as Singapore's most prolific match-fixer and "a criminal match-fixer extraordinaire". He was involved in the fixing of at least eight football matches in the S-League.

He was previously jailed for 18 months and fined $200,000 for trying to fix two S-League matches. Later, he was jailed for another nine months and fined $200,000 for trying to fix two other S-League matches.

While serving the second sentence, he bribed a prison warden with $20,000 to smuggle in a mobile phone, which he used to make football bets and phone calls.

He received a 24-month jail sentence for this.

For trying to fix the Malaysia-Timor-Leste match, Rajendran was sentenced to four years' jail.

Nasiruddin was jailed for 30 months. Orlando was sentenced to 24 months' jail and had to pay a $1,000 penalty, while Moises was sentenced to 20 months' jail.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2021, with the headline 'E-book aims to raise awareness of graft in S'pore among teens'. Print Edition | Subscribe