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Singapore Court sentences 2 execs to jail for money laundering

THE Singapore Court has sentenced two senior executives to prison for money laundering offences surrounding a community college project in Papua New Guinea.

American citizen Thomas Philip Doehrman, 68, director of Quest Petroleum (Singapore), was sentenced to 70 months of jail time. Singaporean national Lim Ai Wah, Doehrman's spouse and director of Questzone Offshore, was sentenced to 60 months. A third individual, Chinese citizen Stephen Li Weiming, who was the chief representative of China-based ZTE Corp, has since absconded and a warrant of arrest has been issued against him.

The trio faced charges that they had conspired to issue an invoice to ZTE in 2010 to falsely seek the payment of US$3.6 million to Questzone as a sub-contractor under a fictitious sub-contract for a community college project in Papua New Guinea.

ZTE, a major telecommunications equipment maker, had been awarded a US$35 million contract for the community college project, prosecutors said as part of court proceedings in 2013. The three individuals allegedly conspired to have an invoice issued to ZTE by Questzone under a fictitious sub-contract in order to extract the S$3.6 million payment.

A portion of those proceeds was eventually disbursed to Li and to Michael Thomas Somare, a Papua New Guinea national, the Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said in a statement.