Indian-origin project manager jailed in Singapore for bribing assistant engineer

Singapore, Feb 14 (PTI) An Indian-origin project manager in Singapore was on Monday sentenced to over seven months’ imprisonment for giving USD 33,513 in bribes to an assistant engineer of a government agency for carrying out his work smoothly.

Ganisan Suppiah, 52, pleaded guilty to one charge of corruptly giving gratification to Public Utilities Board (PUB) assistant engineer Jamaludin Mohamed and a second of abetting Jamaludin in making a false invoice, Channel News Asia reported.

The court heard that Ganisan was a project manager of both Pipe Works and Krishco Singapore Construction at the time of the offences. He oversaw projects, including the purchase of materials and management of manpower and equipment for projects.

Jamaludin, 58, was an assistant engineer at PUB’s network renewal division of its water supply (network) department. He supervised water diversion works performed by PUB term contractors and subcontractors at third-party sites.

Around November 2017, Jamaludin supervised the works performed by Pipe Works at PUB work sites, after main contractors subcontracted the work out to the company.

Jamaludin approached Ganisan and asked for what he called “supervision fees”, in exchange for Jamaludin’s help in facilitating and expediting Pipe Works’ matters.

Ganisan agreed that Jamaludin would be paid based on the duration and complexity of the works, with amounts ranging from 2 per cent to 5 per cent of the amounts on the invoices Pipe Works billed to the main contractors.

Jamaludin told Ganisan that he would set up a company to receive the money from Ganisan through false invoices, and Ganisan agreed.

Between November 2017 and August 2018, Ganisan gave Jamaludin 45,169 Singapore dollars (USD 33,513) over multiple occasions. Ganisan’s superior was unaware of the fake invoices used in the crime, according to the Channel report.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said in a statement after the hearing that Jamaludin had also attempted in July 2019 to obtain a 5,00,000 dollars (3,71,085) bribe from a company that submitted a bid for a PUB tender in 2019. The company rejected Jamaludin’s request.

In exchange, Jamaludin helped Pipe Works by asking the main contractor to submit documentation quickly so that Ganisan’s workers could start work early, or by giving Ganisan’s workers priority to lay the pipes at the sites.

On top of this, Jamaludin incorporated a company called Daeyul Services in his son’s name. He prepared false Daeyul Services invoices to Pipe Works for fictitious cleaning services at work sites.

Ganisan abetted this crime by conspiring with Jamaludin to make a false invoice. Jamaludin issued a Daeyul Services invoice to Pipe Works for cleaning works amounting to 39,810 dollars (USD 29,543), when no such works were provided.

Jamaludin then submitted this false invoice to Ganisan for the purpose of receiving the “supervision fees”.

Jamaludin was jailed for nine months and 10 weeks and fined 45,169 dollars (USD 33,513) in November, according to the report.