SINGAPORE - Over the course of seven years, a technical officer with the national water agency PUB abused his position and duped his employer into approving purchase orders worth almost $2 million to companies he controlled.
Besides obtaining a confession from Mohamed Sa'ad Mohamed Ali, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officers also trawled through the 700 transactions involved in the case.
It was reported that Mohamed Sa'ad had cheated the agency into awarding 718 contracts to three companies under his wife's name from 2005 to 2012, when his crimes came to light.
Through the use of forensic accounting to identify and trace the proceeds of crime, CPIB officers uncovered that Mohamed Sa'ad had used $470,000 of his ill-gotten proceeds to purchase a sports car, an insurance policy, a gold certificate, a factory unit and to make repayment for a Housing Board mortgage loan.
In November last year, he was sentenced to 45 months' jail for cheating and money laundering.
The assets he had amassed were also seized, liquidated and returned to the PUB, said the CPIB in highlighting cases that it had dealt with during its annual statistics release on Thursday (April 25).
"These cases illustrate the importance of investing in our people to sharpen their skills particularly in the areas of interview, financial investigation and digital forensics," said the CPIB.
It added that while the incidence of corruption in Singapore has remained low, there will always be individuals and parties who are tempted to engage in corrupt acts.
In another case that concluded last year, a contractor and his subcontractor were jailed for giving an employee of a hotel establishment $300,000 as a reward for furthering their business interests in construction works at the hotel.
Intelligence work, computer forensics and the tenacity of CPIB officers were instrumental in this case, said the CPIB, adding that investigations started after it received an anonymous tip-off.
Tan Ken Huat, managing director of Shanghai Chong Kee Furniture and Construction, was sentenced to nine months' jail in August last year, while Teo Wee Liap, director of Superiortec, a subcontractor for Tan's company, was jailed for six months in June.
The hotel employee, Soh Yew Meng, who was director of the building enhancement department of the establishment, was earlier sentenced to 14 months' jail in 2017.