Former Straits Wine sales manager fined $3,000 for corruption

Ee Chay Wea is among several of the wine company's former employees who were earlier charged with corruption offences.
Ee Chay Wea is among several of the wine company's former employees who were earlier charged with corruption offences.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A former assistant sales manager of Singapore Straits Wine Company was fined $3,000 on Monday (Dec 7) after pleading guilty to a corruption charge.

Malaysian Ee Chay Wea, 39, admitted to giving a bribe of $822 to David Ang Wei Xiong, 34, in May 2018.

Ang, a Chinese national, was then a marketing communications manager with luxury watch retailer Sincere Watch. Court documents did not state if he is still working for the company.

Another corruption charge was taken into consideration during Ee's sentencing by District Judge Chee Min Ping.

The court heard that Ee had met Ang while she was buying a watch for her boyfriend in September 2017.

After observing that Sincere Watch served sparkling wine and champagne to its customers, Ee felt that there could be opportunities to get sales from the company.

She then handed her name card to Ang and also sent a wine sample to Sincere Watch.

In March 2018, Ang asked Ee if her company could give him incentives for purchasing wine from it.

She referred his request to Janice Yip Kin Chee, who was the company's head of operations at the time and who agreed to it.

Ang subsequently asked Ee to mark up the price of the wine sold to his company so that he could pocket the difference between the marked-up and original prices.

She then inflated the price of the wine by between 32 per cent and 73 per cent.

In April 2018, Ang sent Ee two orders of wine for Sincere Watch.

He also handed over a dining receipt of $822 to her, which she passed to Yip.

Ee later gave Ang the same amount in May 2018.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran said Ee was reimbursed for the bribe through payments of her salary for May and June that year.

Yip had instructed the wine company's accounting department to repay Ee under the guise of a performance incentive, added the DPP.

Ang has been charged with two counts of corruption for receiving the bribes. His case is expected to be heard on Dec 22.

On Monday, Ee's lawyer Valliappan Subramaniam said in mitigation that his client's offence was a one-off incident and she had not benefited in any way from it.

Ee is among several of the wine company's former employees who were earlier charged with corruption offences.

They include Yip, 74; former chief executive officer Lim Yok Lyn, 47; and former sales executive Micael Musoni, 31.

Their cases are still pending.

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