Seven people linked to shipbuilding firm Keppel Fels charged with corruption offences

Rajavikraman Jayapandian (left) and Goh Ngak Eng and five others were charged with multiple corruption-related offences.
Rajavikraman Jayapandian (left) and Goh Ngak Eng and five others were charged with multiple corruption-related offences.ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW, TIMOTHY DAVID
The offences were committed between 2014 and 2017.
The offences were committed between 2014 and 2017.PHOTO: KEPPEL

SINGAPORE - Seven people linked to Singapore shipbuilding firm Keppel Fels were charged with multiple corruption-related offences on Wednesday (Oct 14) morning.

Alvin Lim Wee Lun,40, who was working as a yard manager at Keppel Fels, was charged with 46 counts of conspiring with two other individuals to obtain bribes to advance the business interests of multiple sub-contractors.

Lim's co-conspirators allegedly included Rajavikraman Jayapandian, 45, a project director at industrial manufacturing firm Rotary Offshore Solutions Pte Ltd, and Goh Ngak Eng, 54, a director at Megamarine Services Pte Ltd, which deals in marine engines.

The offences, which included taking bribes in exchange for furthering the business interests of three companies, were committed between 2014 and 2017.

The trio is alleged to have worked together to obtain approximately $879,900 in bribes from three sub-contractors, which they intended to share.

According to court documents, Goh allegedly acted as a middleman, helping to obtain the gratuities from the sub-contractors. The money - which was handled by Goh - was then allegedly split between the trio.

Rajavikraman and Goh also face three additional corruption charges each for furthering the business interests of a marine equipment manufacturer with another company in the same line of business.

For helping to facilitate these business deals, Rajavikraman had received a monetary reward of around $7,000 from Goh.

Lim, Goh Ngak Eng, and Rajavikraman are set to appear in court again on Nov 11.

A Keppel Fels spokesman said the company was aware that Lim was being charged for corruption and had dismissed him in 2019.

"We have extended our full cooperation to the authorities and are unable to comment further as court proceedings are ongoing.

"We take a serious view of any corrupt act and will not tolerate any employee conduct that is illegal," said the spokesman.

Separately, Ong Tun Chai, 48, an associate of Goh's, was also charged with ten corruption charges for accepting a total of $15,100 from Goh as a reward for preparing fictitious invoices on a logistics company's letterhead.

Ong is also allegedto have fraudulently falsified papers belonging to a logistics company on 20 occasions and to have issued these papers to two sub-contractors, to reflect that services were requested by the sub-contractors when they were not.

He is due to appear in court again on Nov 4.

Also taken to task on Wednesday and charged with multiple corruption-related offences were the sub-contractors who allegedly enlisted Lim, Rajavikraman, and Goh's help to advance their firms' business interests on various occasions.

This included U Keh Choon, 50, a director at maritime equipment company Titan Offshore Equipment, Goh Sheng Li Stanley, 33, a director at industrial supplies firm Spectrama Marine and Industrial Supplies, and Fatkullah Tiap, 59, managing director of engineering and consultancy company Growa.

U was charged with seven corruption-related offences for allegedly giving bribes worth $196,700 to the trio.

Goh Sheng Li Stanley was charged with 21 counts of corruptly giving bribes, amounting to approximately $190,900, while Fatkullah was charged with 18 counts of corruptly giving gratification amounting to around $492,300.

U and Fatkullah will appear in court on Nov 11 and Goh Sheng Li Stanley on Nov 13.

In a separate case in 2018, Keppel Offshore and Marine (Keppel O&M) - the parent company of Keppel Fels - was fined US$422 million for its part in an international corruption scandal.

Court documents released by the US Justice Department stated that Keppel O&M had "knowingly and wilfully conspired" to pay bribes as part of a "decade long scheme" to win 13 contracts with Petrobas and Sete Brasil - two Brazilian oil companies that had been investigated since 2014 in a massive graft probe dubbed "Operation Car Wash".

"Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption," said the CPIB in a statement on Wednesday.

"Companies are strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by their employees."

Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to $100,000, jailed up to five years, or both.