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Man gets jail after giving $125k in bribes to ex-Sats officer in 2017

Man gets jail after giving $125k in bribes to ex-Sats officer in 2017
Malaysian Tang Book Song was sentenced to seven months and a week in jail on Dec 15.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE —?A supervisor at a company that provided painting services gave bribes totalling $125,000 to a technical supervisor at Sats, the main ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider at Changi Airport.

Malaysian Tang Book Song, 61, who was working for GT Contractor at the time, was sentenced to seven months and a week in jail on Dec 15 after he pleaded guilty to a graft charge involving $120,000.

Three other graft charges linked to the remaining amount were considered during sentencing.

Tang, who is also known as Wang Chin Chai, had engaged in a conspiracy with then director at K&T Building Construction Teo Yoke Chiang, to give the $120,000 to Lim Koon Chuan, a Sats technical supervisor at the time.

The money was given so that a firm called KJS Construction would be awarded a contract involving the maintenance of Sats airfreight terminals 1 to 6 from March 1, 2017 to Feb 28, 2020.

K&T was a subcontractor of KJS at the time. The prosecution said that Sats awarded the contract worth $1.2 million to KJS in a letter dated Jan 31, 2017.

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Teo, then 56, was sentenced to nine months' jail in May 2023. Lim, then 59, was sentenced to 15 months' jail in August 2020. He worked at Sats from 1982 to 2017.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stacey Anne Fernandez said that Sats periodically awards a custodian contract for maintenance works at its airfreight terminals 1 to 6 relating to mechanical and electrical services.

On Dec 9, 2016, it called an open tender for the contract in the case.

Tang, who is a Singapore permanent resident, found out that Lim was soliciting "commission payments" for the award of the contract.

"Lim also told Tang that the bid for the upcoming tender should be placed at not more than $1.2 million in order to secure the contract," said the DPP. "Tang told Lim that he could help Lim find a company which could submit a quotation for the tender."

Tang contacted Teo some time before Jan 4, 2017, and told him that Lim wanted a 10 per cent cut of the tender price of $1.2 million if the job was awarded to Teo's company. This amounted to $120,000.

Tang also proposed that if the company was awarded the contract, he would have a role in supervising the workers and be paid a salary.

Teo agreed to give Lim a bribe of $120,000, even though he knew that his company was not eligible for the tender. Its licence at the time only allowed it to bid for tenders of up to $700,000.

Teo then told his staff to approach KJS to put in a bid for the tender. KJS agreed, not knowing about the 10 per cent cut that Teo had agreed to pay Lim.

In January 2017, Tang received $120,000 from Teo and handed the amount to Lim.

Tang did not get any role in supervising the workers for the contract or any money that Teo had promised him.

Separately, Tang had also approached Lim to ask if there were any painting jobs, as business was then bad for his firm GT Contractor.

Lim came up with an arrangement where he would invite GT Contractor to quote for jobs offered by Sats. The latter would then award the jobs to GT Contractor.

As part of the plan, Tang had to give Lim the difference between the price that Sats was willing to offer, and the marked up amount quoted by GT Contractor. The total bribes in these cases came up to $5,000.

ALSO READ:?Jail for former SIA staff who conspired with friend to obtain bribes, used money for rent and buying Microsoft shares

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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