A senior manager of a developer was given $50,000 twice by a property agent for slipping him into an early-bird condominium sale, where he managed to get options to purchase 11 units at The Rochester in North Buona Vista, a district court heard yesterday.
Yesterday, United Engineers Developments' (UED) former senior manager Suhaimi Amin, 52, was fined $60,000 for corruptly receiving a $50,000 bribe from Mr Goh Chan Chong by providing invitation cards and listings under the "VVIP" (very very important people) status for the launch in 2007.
A second similar charge was taken into consideration.
Before The Rochester's official launch on July 16, 2007, UED held an exclusive preview for those classified as "Special Very Important Persons". One level down, VIP invitation cards for the soft launch, to be held that day, would be mailed to VVIPs such as consultants and contractors.
Sometime in June 2007, Suhaimi received a call from Mr Goh who claimed to be an experienced property investor and asked for VIP invitation cards to the soft launch. When Mr Goh persisted, Suhaimi gave him a few of the invitations.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani said investigations revealed that on July 16, 2007, Mr Goh - together with his mother, wife, mother-in-law, two brothers and their former girlfriends, his mistress and her friend, as well as a staff of UED - obtained options to purchase a total of 11 units that cost $1.1 million to $2.2 million each.
The total booking price for the 11 units came up to $17 million. But two options were not exercised.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Goh met Suhaimi twice and handed him $50,000 each time as a token of appreciation. Suhaimi returned the $100,000 to Mr Goh in May 2008.
District Judge Michelle Yap agreed with Suhaimi's lawyer P.E. Ashokan that there were strong mitigating factors, particularly the fact that his client kept the money in its original state, and ultimately, returned it to the giver.
"It appears to me this is a one-off thing, which he had succumbed to temptation, and he is remorseful," she said.
Suhaimi could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years for corruption.
This article was first published on Dec 13, 2014.
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