Site manager jailed for bribing pest control workers over mozzie checks

A construction site manager was jailed for six weeks yesterday for bribing two pest control company workers to notify him in advance of mosquito breeding inspections.

Muthukaruppan Periyasamy, a 52-year-old site manager of Fenzhii Engineering Services and Ramo Industries, faced five counts of corruptly giving gratification of $1,600 to Tung Chee Keong and Chandran Jeganathan.

The Indian national was charged on Jan 18.

Tung and Jeganathan were former employees of pest control company Killem Pest, a contractor engaged by the National Environment Agency to conduct vector control, said the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in a statement yesterday.

They had received the money as reward for alerting Periyasamy to upcoming mosquito breeding inspections at his construction site between May and August last year. Investigations revealed that Periyasamy had offered to pay Tung and Jeganathan $400 a month for doing so.

From May to August last year, Jeganathan told Periyasamy on four occasions about impending inspections, and Periyasamy paid the sum to the pair.

Tung, 48, and Jeganathan, 30, later split the money, with Tung receiving a total of $1,000 and Jeganathan $600.

They were jailed on March 18 for accepting gratification under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CPIB said that Singapore has a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. It added that it is a serious offence to give or accept bribes from another individual or entity.

Tung, a Singapore citizen, was sentenced to 11 weeks and five days' jail. Jeganathan, who is an Indian national, received a prison term of six weeks and three days.

In the statement, the CPIB said that Singapore has a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. The bureau added that it is a serious offence to give or accept bribes from another individual or entity. "Corrupt acts which compromise mosquito breeding controls can pose a serious danger to public health safety and should be dealt with resolutely," the CPIB said in the statement.

Anyone convicted of a corruption offence may be sentenced to five years in jail, fined a maximum of $100,000 or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2019, with the headline 'Site manager jailed for bribing pest control workers over mozzie checks'. Print Edition | Subscribe