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Former Sats officer jailed 15 months for offering contracts for cash involving over S$150,000

Lim Koon Chuan.jpg
Lim Koon Chuan took advantage of his position to solicit commission payments in order for contracts to be awarded.

[SINGAPORE] A former Sats officer was sentenced to 15 months' jail for eight corruption charges involving a total sum of more than S$150,000 on Wednesday.

Lim Koon Chuan, 59, was a cargo technical supervisor at Sats, the mainboard-listed chief ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider at Singapore Changi Airport, when he took multiple bribes in exchange for helping companies get awarded tender contracts.

Fourteen other charges were also taken into consideration in Lim's sentencing.

Lim had worked at Sats from 1982 to 2017, and was responsible for repair works on technical systems within the airfreight terminals.

These repair works were usually carried out by external contractors engaged by the company.

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Lim's job scope included ensuring that the contracted work was carried out properly.

He was also given the task of approaching and hiring contractors for ad hoc repair and maintenance jobs on airfreight terminals.

But he took advantage of his position to solicit commission payments in order for contracts to be awarded.

When approached by Tang Bok Song, a supervisor at GT Contractor, regarding an upcoming open tender for a custodian contract, Lim told Tang that he would need a commission worth 10 per cent of the contract price.

Tang then told Teo Yoke Chiang, director of K&T Building Construction, about this potential opportunity.

The men put in a bid for the contract through a nominee company, KJS Construction, which had the requisite government licences to fulfil the contract.

Teo and Tang managed to raise a total of S$120,000, and handed the cash over to Lim on two occasions in 2017 - on Jan 13 and 25.

Lim then enlisted the help of Chen Baoling, a 37-year-old Singaporean woman who worked with him as an assistant manager for building services with Sats, to ensure the "smooth" handling of the contracts.

Between Jan 13 and 25, 2017, Lim arranged to meet Chen at a carpark and gave her S$20,000, as a "token of appreciation", which she accepted.

KJS Construction was awarded the tender for the maintenance of Sats Airfreight Terminal 1 to 6 from March 1, 2017, to Feb 28 this year.

Along with Lim, Chen was charged with corruption on Sept 25 last year when she was also accused of accepting S$3,000 in bribes from a manager of a company known as AT Services.

The court heard then that she intended to plead guilty to her offences and her case was adjourned to Oct 8.

Lim on Wednesday was also taken to task for other charges involving several thousands of dollars for corruptly awarding contracts.

Some of these instances involved the awarding of marked-up contracts to contractors, and obtaining cash in exchange for these contracts going through, and accepting gratuities for introducing more jobs to contractors.

Shares of Sats rose S$0.09 or 3.3 per cent to finish Wednesday at S$2.84.


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