Ex-airport employee jailed over bribes for contracts

Ex-airport employee jailed over bribes for contracts
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A former technical officer at Changi Airport was jailed 15 months for corruption yesterday, after he accepted more than $40,000 in bribes in return for awarding contracts.

Henry Goh Keng Hwee, 45, was in charge of maintaining the airport's air-conditioning systems and worked for the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) before becoming an associate engineer for Changi Airport Group (CAG) when the airport was corporatised in July 2009.

His duties included sourcing for quotations from contractors.

In 2008, Goh fell into financial difficulty and Kang Leong Chuan, director of Fire-Mech, offered to help him. He said if Goh gave him a contract from the CAAS, he would pass Goh bribes in return.

Mr Kang suggested giving Goh 10 per cent of his profits from each job obtained with Goh's influence.

Goh thought about it and accepted the offer a few days later.

He went on to award Fire-Mech a series of contracts worth a total of $255,000, for both CAAS and CAG. They covered additions, alterations and a new sprinkler system, and spanned a period of 2 1/2 years.

He lost his job as a result of his actions in October 2011.

Goh pleaded guilty to nine of 28 charges. He was also convicted of knowingly deceiving CAAS and CAG with quotations that were not intended to be genuine offers. He has paid back $36,000 to CAG and surrendered $9,000 to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jiang Ke-Yue, who had sought a stiff sentence, said Goh abused his position of responsibility and betrayed the trust placed in him. He said Goh had built the bribes into the contract price, effectively earning secret profits from his own employer.

DPP Jiang said Goh even resorted to using false quotations to justify his recommendations to award the contract to Mr Kang's company.

Goh, represented by S. Balamurugan, could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years on each charge.

Mr Kang has not been charged.

elena@sph.com.sg


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