SINGAPORE - A former executive of BP Singapore was hauled to court on Thursday (March 9) to face charges of obtaining about US$4 million (S$5.7 million) in bribes from a businessman to advance the business interest of the latter's company with the oil and gas company.
The man faces 47 charges.
Clarence Chang Peng Hong, 51, BP's former eastern regional director for marine fuels, is accused of 19 counts of corruptly obtaining bribes amounting to US$3.95 million from Mr Koh Seng Lee, executive director of Pacific Prime Trading (PPT), as an inducement for advancing the business interest of PPT with BP.
The alleged offences took place between July 2006 and September 2008.
He is said to have corruptly agreed to accept a bribe of $500,000 from Mr Koh before September 2009 to advance the business interest of PPT with BP.
On 16 occasions between January 2007 and March 2010, Chang was the regional marine sales manager when he allegedly transferred $4.7 million, which were benefits of corrupt proceeds, from a HSBC account in Hong Kong to a POSB Bank account and two other HSBC Singapore accounts.
The amounts ranged from $76,568 to $725,500.
He also faces 10 charges of converting property amounting to $3.97 million which, in whole or in part, were direct or indirect benefits of corrupt proceeds, to acquire three houses at Da Silva Lane, Jalan Limau Purut and Ettrick Terrace, and two condominiums in Pasir Ris Grove.
He is also accused of converting $111,000 which were the benefits of corruption to acquire share capital in Mindchamps Preschool @ City Square on Sept 16, 2009.
Chang, who was represented by lawyer Alfonso Ang, will appear in court again. He is out on $200,000 bail and his case will be next mentioned on April 6.
The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said in a statement that Singapore adopts a zero tolerance approach towards corruption. The bureau said it takes a serious view of any corrupt practices and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in such acts.
The maximum punishment for corruption is a $100,000 fine and five years' jail on each charge.
If convicted of offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, he could be fined up to $500,000 and/or jailed for up to seven years on each charge.