Two siblings jailed for corruption offences committed in China

SINGAPORE: Two siblings were jailed on Monday (Jan 11) for conspiring to share confidential business information with companies in China to secure contracts, said the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). 

Teo Chu Ha Henry, 72, a former senior director of logistics at Seagate Technology International was sentenced to 50 months’ jail. 

His sister, 68-year-old Teo Suya Bik Judy was given 41 months’ jail, and a penalty of S$2,320,864.10. 

The siblings were investigated by the CPIB even though the offences were carried out in China, as the Prevention of Corruption Act states that Singapore citizens who commit corrupt acts overseas will be prosecuted as if they did so in Singapore.

GRATIFICATIONS FROM TRUCKING COMPANIES

In 2006 and 2009, Seagate had called for open tenders to source for companies to provide long haul trucking services in China.

As a senior director in the company and a member of the tender committee, Henry had access to Seagate’s confidential information and conspired to share it with Judy, who was not a Seagate employee.

Judy then passed the information directly to two Chinese trucking companies – Feili International Transport and Shanghai Long-Distance Transportation (SLT) – to help them secure contracts with Seagate.

In return, both companies agreed to pay Judy 10 per cent on all invoices billed to Seagate under the contracts.

The trucking companies eventually won the contracts in two open tenders and they paid the promised gratifications, or “commissions”, to Judy accordingly.

Between 2007 to 2010, Judy corruptly received a total of around 11.3 million yuan (S$2.32 million) in gratifications from Feili and SLT, said CPIB.

Following this, she conspired again with Henry to withdraw part of the money she received to purchase a condominium unit in Singapore.

Henry used Judy’s automated teller machine (ATM) card to make numerous cash withdrawals in Singapore between 2009 and 2010, totalling S$703,480. The money was then deposited into Henry’s personal bank accounts.

In 2012, Henry purchased a condominium unit at S$1.12 million in Judy’s name.

Henry’s act of depositing the money that he withdrew from Judy’s Bank of China account into his personal accounts “facilitated the control of Judy’s benefits of criminal conduct”, said CPIB.

Henry was previously convicted in another case for receiving kickbacks from a vendor in Singapore.

CPIB worked closely with Chinese authorities such as the Shanghai City Zhabei District People’s Procuratorate as part of a protracted investigation into the offences committed overseas.

The agency said it had received “invaluable assistance” from the Chinese authorities in the form of critical evidentiary records such as bank statements, and assistance in interviews and statement-taking under the mutual legal assistance framework spanning over a few years.

“The CPIB takes a serious view against corruption including those committed overseas,” said the agency. 

“Any persons involved in such offences will be firmly dealt with under the law.”