Former associate director gets 45 weeks' jail for receiving more than $200,000 in bribes

James Lim Liong Ghee used his position as associate director when he was working at Changi Airports International and forged documents to secure contracts for an IT vendor. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A former employee of Changi Airports International (CAI) used his position as associate director and forged documents to secure contracts for an IT vendor.

James Lim Liong Ghee, 45, also secured contracts for the same IT firm, First Tel Tech (FTT), when he was previously the IT manager of hedge fund firm Dymon Asia Capital (Dymon).

In return, he received bribes amounting to more than $200,000.

On Wednesday (March 4), Lim pleaded guilty in the State Courts to 22 charges for his actions. Of these, 17 are for corruption-related offences, while the other five are for forgery-related offences.

Lim was sentenced on the same day to 45 weeks' jail and ordered to pay the total amount of the bribes as a penalty.

Another 92 charges were taken into consideration by the court during his sentencing.

The court heard that between 2015 and 2017, Lim received a total of $215,237 in bribes from Ng Soon Weng, who was director and shareholder of FTT. Ng has also been charged with corruption-related and forgery-related offences.

Sometime in 2014, Lim, who was working in Dymon then, agreed to procure Microsoft licenses from FTT in return for a commission from Ng. At that time, he was responsible for procurement work for Dymon.

From January 2015 to May 2016, Lim received $88,967 from Ng, in return for awarding 20 procurement purchases to FTT.

The court also heard that both men continued their arrangement after Lim joined CAI as associate director in August 2016. His responsibilities in CAI included procurement of IT-related services and products for the company, which is the investment and consultancy arm of Changi Airport Group.

As part of CAI's processes, Lim was required to provide quotes and email correspondence from various vendors to his superiors and CAI's finance department when recommending a particular vendor for approval.

For purchases above $5,000 in value, he had to provide quotes from at least three different vendors.

In order to secure such purchases for FTT, Lim sought help from Ng to obtain false supporting quotes that contained other companies' letterheads and stated a higher price than FTT's quote.

He also created false email chains purporting to be between himself and the officers of such companies, in order to make it appear as if the quotes were provided by the companies.

Furthermore, he created false quotes by using a document editor to alter details of genuine quotes that were previously submitted.

According to court documents, Lim secured 78 purchases by CAI to FTT from November 2016 to September 2017, and received $126,270 from Ng. Eight of the purchases were awarded due to forged quotes.

For each count of corruption, Lim could have been fined up to $100,000, jailed up to five years, or both. For each count of forgery for the purpose of cheating, he could have been fined and jailed up to 10 years.

Ng's case is pending.

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