Man gets jail for taking bribes, conspiring with travel agents to cheat his company

See Chun Keat was sentenced to five months and six weeks' jail on Jan 14, 2022. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - For more than a year, an employee at an electronics company accepted bribes totalling $16,355 from staff at a travel firm in exchange for purchasing corporate plane tickets from them.

He later cheated his company into paying for non-existent plane tickets and pocketing the sums.

See Chun Keat, 39, was on Friday (Jan 14) sentenced to five months and six weeks' jail. He was also ordered to pay a penalty of $16,355, the amount he received in bribes.

He had pleaded guilty to five counts of corruption and one of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat his company, Furuno Singapore.

Twelve similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that See, a Singaporean, was the assistant system integration manager at Furuno at the time.

His responsibilities involved liaising with travel agencies to purchase plane tickets when Furuno's employees travelled abroad.

See got to know three employees from Majestic Travel - Bong Fung Sen, Tan Han Ser and Winnie Wong Kai Ning, who worked in the same team at the agency - some time between 2016 and 2019.

To increase their sales figures, Bong came up with a plan to bribe See so that he would purchase plane tickets from them, on behalf of Furuno.

See agreed to the arrangement and it began in June 2018. Some of the bribes he received came in the form of plane tickets worth more than $5,500 and a $1,140 hotel stay in Taipei.

Greedy for more money, See told the trio he could submit requests to Furuno for non-existent plane tickets.

Majestic would send an invoice to Furuno for the "tickets" and after the latter had paid for them, Bong would cancel the ticket bookings.

See would then be given the amount Furuno had paid, minus the cancellation fees and Majestic's service fees.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Janice See said: "The accused could effect this plan as he was entrusted by Furuno to sign off on and acknowledge payment invoices purchased on behalf of the company."

The quartet's arrangement went on until around August 2019. Court documents did not disclose how their scheme came to light.

In sentencing him, District Judge Paul Chan said See had played a critical role in the scheme and had taken the lead in furthering it.

"A significant aggravating factor was the amount of premeditation involved. See and the co-accused had to communicate constantly and plan the details of each transaction."

The cases of Bong and Tan are pending.

For each count of corruption, See could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to five years.

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