Indian-origin man, Shankar Suppiah was given a four-month jail term in Singapore on Friday, having admitted to his part in defrauding the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
All Resource Network (ARN), a company that since 2017 has focused on event management and the selling of athletic and recreational items, was run by Shankar Suppiah, 45, as its lone proprietor.
The FAS, the city state’s regulatory organisation for football and the entity in charge of developing the game and overseeing the national team at the time of the offences, were a customer of ARN.
Rikram Jit Singh, the FAS’ deputy director, was in charge of the organisation’s commercial and business growth at the time. ARN was founded in 2014 by Asya Kirin Kames, the 42-year-old spouse of Rikram, who later became the company’s sole owner.
According to a source in the newspaper The Straits Times, Rikram and Shankar were childhood buddies. A conflict of interest would result from Rikram and Asya’s impending marriage, according to deputy public prosecutor Victoria Ting, who claimed that Rikram informed Shankar of this sometime in 2017.
Contracts or commercial dealings between parties with competing interests are forbidden by FAS regulations. The report stated that although Rikram and Asya would continue to operate the business, “Rikram asked Shankar to take over as sole proprietor of ARN in order to conceal such a conflict of interest from FAS.” Shankar consented to the agreement so that ARN could keep on dealing with the FAS.
Ting said that he complied with the request because he thought he had no choice but to accept it as Rikram’s buddy. Shankar received no pay for his work on ARN.
Additionally, Shankar was requested to register a corporate bank account in ARN’s name.
The court heard that while he was the only owner and signatory of this account, Rikram and Asya were in charge of its administration and had custody of the Internet banking token.
On occasion, the couple would give Shankar orders to write checks and take money out of the account. Five ARN bills totalling S$110,500 were sent to the marketing department of FAS at this time, then to the finance department.
By submitting ARN bills that dishonestly obscured Rikram’s ownership of ARN, Shankar, Rikram, and Asya formed a conspiracy to defraud FAS. FAS would not have paid ARN had it known about Rikram’s stake in the company, according to Ting.
In December 2020, 45 charges of cheating were brought against Rikram and Asya individually. Principal District Judge Victor Yeo recognised that Shankar did not profit monetarily from the scheme and that it was acknowledged that he was truly sorry for committing the crimes before imposing the punishment.
According to a media source, four individuals, including Shankar Suppiah, Rikram Jit Singh, Assay Kirin Kames, and Palaniappan Ravindran, were charged in December 2020 with forging invoices in order to defraud the Football Association of Singapore.
Assay Kirin Kames, the director of a sports products firm, and Rikram Jit Singh, the deputy director of commercial and business development at the FAS, allegedly plotted to have phoney bills filed to the FAS.
According to Channel News Asia, a payment of 181,875 Singapore dollars was later given to the company between 2017 and 2018 at Singh’s instruction, resulting in a loss to the FAS.
Following Asya’s resignation from the All Resources Network Company, Singh continued to collude with her replacement Shankar Suppiah to obtain the phoney bills filed to FAS. According to Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), invoices from All Resource Network were filed to FAS while hiding the alleged fact that Singh was associated with the business.
According to the report, which cited CPIB, “This alleged dishonesty induced FAS to award the said works to Myriad Sports and Events, and deliver a sum amounting to 457,605 Singapore dollars to Myriad Sports and Events between 2016 and 2018.” While Ravindran is charged with 15, Shankar is charged with 28 counts of aiding and abetting and two counts of such offences that carry a jail sentence.
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