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Tritech to appoint former executive director charged with corruption as consultant

TRITECH Group has decided to appoint its former executive director Cai Jungang as a consultant for the company instead, it said on Sunday in response to the Singapore Exchange's queries. 

Cai resigned from the executive director role on July 23 after the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau charged him for alleged offences relating to certain loans he allegedly gave as gratification to Foo Yung Thye Henry, a former Land Transport Authority (LTA) deputy group director.

This was allegedly for advancing the business interest of Tritech Engineering and Testing (Singapore) Pte Ltd. The alleged offences were committed under Section 6(b) read with Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

Cai faces seven charges of corruption.

The loans in question totalled to about S$285,000. Cai told Tritech's board that these were given in his personal capacity between 2014 and 2016, solely as personal loans and not as gratification or inducement.

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Cai also said he provided the loans using his own funds and not the group's funds. As such, Tritech noted that the loans do not have any impact on the group, and that it is not relevant to consider their materiality to the group.

Cai has informed the company that he will be "taking rigorous steps" to defend the charges, Tritech said. He is on bail, and is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Aug 20.

By appointing Cai as a consultant, the group can continue to tap his expertise in geology and underground space development in Singapore.

He is a renown expert in these fields and undertook or was involved in many of Singapore's underground space projects in the past 26 years, the group said. It added there are not many professionals with the same level of technical knowledge, expertise and experience.

Cai's appointment will be for one year, subject to extension or renewal as mutually agreed. Tritech's board will decide his scope of duties and the remuneration commensurate with his new role.

Tritech said it does not expect the relinquishing of Cai's executive role to have a material adverse impact on its business or lead to major disruptions of the group's relationships with its customers, including LTA.

This is because Tritech has adequate senior management staff who used to work closely with him and may be able to assume the management of day-to-day operations of its specialist engineering services business with initial support from Cai. Also, the company's managing director Wang Xiaoning continues to oversee and supervise such business. 

Shares of Tritech were trading flat at 1.5 Singapore cents on Monday as at the midday break.

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