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Former ST Marine financial controller is fifth exec to be charged in graft case

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Lee told the state court through his lawyer on Wednesday morning that he wants to plead guilty, setting him apart from the four others involved in the corruption scandal who did not.

ANOTHER former group financial controller of shipyard Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine has become the fifth former senior executive to be charged in connection with a corruption scandal.

Patrick Lee Swee Ching was charged on Wednesday with abetting bogus entries for entertainment expenses worth over S$126,000, according to a statement by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

He faces 38 counts of having done so. Lee had been ST Marine's group financial controller from 2001 to 2006 before moving to Vision Technologies Systems, a subsidiary of ST Marine's parent company, ST Engineering.

Lee told the state court through his lawyer on Wednesday morning that he wants to plead guilty, setting him apart from the four others involved in the corruption scandal who did not. Their cases are at the pre-trial conference stage.

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Lee and the four other former senior executives involved are alleged to have bribed agents of the shipyard's customers in return for ship repair contracts between 2004 and 2010.

The four others were charged in December 2014. This group includes two former ST Marine presidents, See Leong Teck and Chang Cheow Teck. See was succeeded by Chang, who held the role until April 2010 before moving to ST Aerospace. The remaining two are former senior vice president Mok Kim Whang and another former group financial controller Ong Tek Liam, who faces 118 counts of abetting false petty cash claims for bogus entertainment expenses amounting to more than $521,000.

The CPIB said in its statement that it "takes a serious view of any corrupt practices, and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in such acts".

Lee's case will be heard on July 1.

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