Ex-SMRT employee jailed for cheating

An SMRT Trains branch manager set up his own firm in 2015 and duped the public transport provider into awarding four contracts to it worth a total of $196,000.

Chua Eng Seng, 43, who worked in communication systems maintenance, was jailed for 13 months yesterday. He pleaded guilty last month to four counts of committing forgery for the purpose of cheating and two cheating charges.

Chua, who no longer works for SMRT, also admitted to one count of making a bogus report entry by preparing and signing a report to show that goods were accepted by SMRT even though none was delivered.

On Oct 26, 2015, he incorporated Amory Chua and was its sole director and shareholder. He did not tell SMRT about his interest in the firm.

He used his position as branch manager to recommend quotes from Amory Chua to SMRT. His firm was paid for goods and services that were not delivered or performed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lim said: "The accused had set up ACPL (Amory Chua Private Limited) with the intent of selling electronic and other items online, but ACPL had no business other than the purported transactions with SMRT."

Between January and April 2016, four contracts - involving items such as fibre optic converters and 3G wireless routers - were awarded to Amory Chua. The contracts were worth $196,000 and Chua received $106,000 from SMRT. He has since made full restitution.

On May 12, 2016, an SMRT internal auditor alerted the police that Chua had been dismissed after an audit revealed that he had falsified quotes sent by various suppliers.

SMRT said it expects all staff to uphold the highest standards of integrity and will not hesitate to investigate, report to the authorities and take firm action against any wrongdoing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2018, with the headline 'Ex-SMRT employee jailed for cheating'. Print Edition | Subscribe