Former S'pore Straits Wine Company sales executive fined $12,000 for graft

Micael Musoni will have to spend 24 days behind bars if he is unable to pay his fine. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A former sales executive with the Singapore Straits Wine Company (SWC) was fined $12,000 on Wednesday (Jan 20) for his role in a graft case involving around $6,000.

Micael Musoni, who pleaded guilty to three corruption charges linked to some $3,000, had suggested that the bribes to a client be masked as fees for "sommelier training".

Five other similar charges involving the remaining amount were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The 31-year-old Italian man will have to spend 24 days behind bars if he is unable to pay his fine.

Musoni is the second former SWC employee to be dealt with in court for graft.

Malaysian Ee Chay Wea, 39, an ex-assistant sales manager, was fined $3,000 in December last year after pleading guilty to a corruption charge.

The cases involving former chief executive officer Kathy Lim Yok Lyn, 47, and former head of operations Janice Yip Kin Chee, 74, are still pending.

A district court heard on Wednesday that the Cut By Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Marina Bay Sands (MBS) had routinely bought wine from SWC.

In October 2017, Musoni spoke to Farook Mohamed Faizal, 37, who was then the restaurant's assistant general manager, about the possibility of increasing the amount of wine order.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran said: "Farook asked the accused for 'performance incentives' from SWC in order to purchase more wine from SWC. Farook was not allowed by Cut or MBS to receive any form of incentive or payment from vendors."

According to court documents, Musoni later approached Lim with Farook's proposal and she agreed to it. Yip was also informed of the plan.

DPP Thiagesh added: "Kathy told the accused that the company would pay performance incentives to Farook on condition that he conduct sommelier training for SWC. The training sessions could then be used to cover up the payments to Farook.

"Ordinarily, sommelier training sessions were free and were conducted by wine suppliers, which Farook was not. The performance incentives to Farook were masked as fees for sommelier training sessions when in fact the payments were meant to be performance incentives to induce Farook to purchase more wine from SWC."

Musoni passed the bribes to Farook in 2017 and 2018.

Court documents do not state how the offences came to light, but Farook has since made full restitution to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. His case is still pending.

If convicted of graft, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000 for each charge.

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