Secretive chicken cartel taken down by a tip-off

Group had colluded to fix prices for years before whistle-blower alerted the authorities

(From left) Team leader Kong Weng Loong, deputy director of the CCCS' business and economics division, with team members Lim Wei Lu, Sarah Tan, Ethel Lin, Tham Chang Xian, Janet Chua, Nicholas Sim and Lee Wan Yi, who worked on the price-fixing case.
(From left) Team leader Kong Weng Loong, deputy director of the CCCS' business and economics division, with team members Lim Wei Lu, Sarah Tan, Ethel Lin, Tham Chang Xian, Janet Chua, Nicholas Sim and Lee Wan Yi, who worked on the price-fixing case. The firms involved, which supply 90 per cent of Singapore's fresh chicken, have been fined $26.9 million in total.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

For years, a close-knit group of executives from firms that supply 90 per cent of Singapore's fresh chicken would gather at the Poultry Merchants' Association in Defu, among other places, to discuss prices.

The 13 suppliers, some of whom had known one another for decades, would make verbal agreements to increase prices in tandem and avoid competition with one another, leaving little paper trail of their misdeeds.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'Secretive chicken cartel taken down by a tip-off'. Print Edition | Subscribe