Harish Singhal, a 59-year-old man of Indian descent was charged on Friday in a Singapore court with corruption and fraud offences involving around SGD (Singapore Dollars) 9.8 million. He was employed as a construction manager for a global corporation.
According to The Straits Times newspaper, Harish Singhal, an employee for Modec Offshore Production Systems, a supplier of offshore floating platforms, is accused of accepting bribes, engaging in money laundering, and tricking his employer into paying nearly SGD 8 million to another company.
Singhal is accused of conspiring with four individuals between 2011 and 2016 to receive bribes worth SGD 1.3 million in exchange for furthering the commercial goals of a shipping firm with Modec (USD 942,000).
He is also accused of conspiring with others to fabricate fake invoices for payments between the two businesses in order to conceal advantages from illegal activity worth roughly USD 313,000, according to the report.
He also reportedly planned with Modec’s chief engineer to defraud the business into paying close to SGD 8 million to a maritime services provider, it continued. Four counts of cheating and six of corruption are brought against Singhal. The report made no note of his nationality.
The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) stated in a statement on Friday that anyone found guilty of a corruption offence faces a fine of up to SGD 100,000 and a maximum five-year prison sentence. The report further stated that anyone found guilty of cheating may incur fines and serve up to 10 years in prison.
According to the CPIB, “Companies are strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by their employees”.
Harish is accused of conspiring with four other people between 2011 and 2016 to collect bribes from Kottaki Srinivas Patnaik, the director of Neptune Ship Management, totalling US$942,000 (S$1.3 million). The bribe was given as remuneration for furthering Neptune’s commercial interests with Modec.
Harish is also alleged to have planned with Kottaki and three other individuals to fabricate fake invoices for payments between the two firms in order to conceal about US$313,000 in gains from illegal activity.
Additionally, he is accused of conspiring with Modec’s chief engineer Gopinath Kuppusamy, 52, to defraud Modec into paying Staghorn Marine Services almost $8 million.
Harish is accused of six counts of corruption and four counts of cheating. On Friday, Kottaki and Gopinath were also accused of committing graft-related crimes.