Man allegedly cheated companies of over $4m, conspired to dupe them of another $400k

SINGAPORE - A 46-year-old man allegedly duped two companies into paying a total of more than $4 million to two other firms - one of which he was a partner.

Hussain Naina Mohamed is also accused of conspiring with the director of a fifth company to trick the victim companies into paying more than $400,000 to it.

Hussain and the director, 66-year-old Eldo Thottungal Mathai, were each charged with six counts of conspiring to cheat on Thursday (July 22). Both men are Indian nationals and Singapore permanent residents.

Hussain faces another 20 charges - 18 of cheating and two of money laundering.

He was an assistant shipping manager of engineering firm Utracon Structural Systems at the time of the alleged offences between June 24, 2009 and Jan 2, 2019.

Hussain allegedly concealed that he was the registered partner of Al Rahman Enterprises and Trading, when recommending to Utracon Structural Systems and another related firm, Utracon Overseas, that freight-forwarding and marine insurance jobs be awarded to his company.

He is said to have concealed that his father was the sole proprietor of another company, SM Enterprises, when recommending that Utracon purchase plastic components from it.

His alleged actions resulted in the victim companies paying approximately a total of $4.3 million over the years to Al Rahman and SM Enterprises, according to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

An online search shows that both Al Rahman and SM Enterprises have ceased business operations.

Hussain and Eldo are also said to have conspired to dupe the victim companies into paying about $417,000 to ship charter company Indus Global Line between Oct 14, 2011 and April 5, 2018. Eldo was the director of Indus Global Line at that time.

They allegedly concealed that a portion of the price stated in job quotations submitted by Indus Global Line would be paid to Hussain, if the company was successfully awarded the jobs.

Hussain is accused of remitting about $142,000 of his alleged ill-gotten gains to India between May 2014 and November 2017.

He also purportedly used $125,000 of his alleged criminal proceeds for the purchase of a Housing Board flat on May 22, 2018.

Eldo's case will be next heard on Aug 19, while Hussain is expected to plead guilty to his offences on Sept 16.

For each cheating offence they are convicted of, they can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Hussain can also be jailed for up to seven years, fined up to $500,000, or both, for each offence of money laundering if he is guilty.

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