CPIB investigating marine engineering firm Seatrium over alleged corruption offences in Brazil

In January, six former senior management staff members of KOM were given stern warnings by CPIB over the Petrobras case. 

The warnings were in lieu of prosecution for offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The offences relate to bribe payments to Petrobras officials, pertaining to rigs-building contracts which Petrobras or its related companies had awarded to KOM.

The six former employees were not prosecuted over the multimillion-dollar bribery case due to insufficient evidence to establish their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah in Parliament on Feb 6. 

“Simply put, there is a lack of sufficient evidence, either documentary or through witnesses, which would establish any criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt against a specific individual,” she said then. 

In its statement on Wednesday, CPIB said it “investigates without fear” and would not hesitate to take action against any parties involved in corrupt activities. 

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Architect of market-rigging scheme that led to S$3 million in losses jailed

SINGAPORE: A man who orchestrated what prosecutors described as one of the most sophisticated securities-related cases of fraud Singapore had ever seen was sentenced to jail on Wednesday (May 31).

For his role in a complex market-rigging scheme that resulted in losses of S$3.28 million, Lin Eng Jue, also known as Andrew, was handed three-and-a-half years’ jail.

The prosecution charged that he was unremorseful throughout investigations and court proceedings, choosing to plead guilty after 16 days of trial in the face of “overwhelming evidence”.

Lin pleaded guilty to multiple charges of market-rigging and deceptive practice under the Securities and Futures Act, with another 34 charges considered in sentencing.


The case centred around shares of Koyo International, a Singapore-incorporated company providing integrated mechanical and electrical engineering services to industries including construction, marine, oil and gas.

In 2014, Lin realised from observing trading patterns that Koyo shares were illiquid, as there was a lack of buyers or sellers interested in the shares.

At the time, about a third of Koyo’s issued shares were floating and available for trading by the public, while the chief executive officer of Koyo and his family held most of the remaining shares.

Koyo’s market capitalisation was about S$32 million on Aug 12, 2014.

If he was able to control the majority of the trading of Koyo shares on the market, Lin knew he could gradually push up the price at which Koyo shares were traded on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

He planned to drive the price of Koyo shares up to at least 40 cents, with the aim of achieving a reverse takeover where a buyer would acquire all of Koyo’s shares at the target price.

Lin would approach individuals to sell some of his Koyo shares at a 10 per cent discount from the prevailing market price, earning a profit. The buyers accepted the deal because they believed an eventual reverse takeover would happen, and they also hoped to earn an eventual profit from the sale of the company.

Lin carried out his scheme in three phases, first opening trading accounts under his name and his wife’s name.

He then obtained the assistance of Janice Lau Wan Heng, a broker and remisier with CGS-CIMB Securities, to obtain more trading accounts.

He told Lau, 65, about the desire for a reverse takeover and the market-rigging scheme. Lau agreed to take part, convincing her existing CIMB clients and her family members to let her use their trading accounts.

In the last phase, when there was a clamping down on trading limits on the accounts of Lau’s CIMB clients, Lin asked Lau to explore other brokerages to get more trading accounts.

Lau told her clients that she was considering leaving CIMB and joining other brokerages, convincing them to open or reactivate trading accounts with the other brokerages.

Along with his co-accused, Lin used 53 trading accounts opened in the name of 15 people with eight brokerage firms to trade Koyo shares and push up the share price.

This took place over 18 months from August 2014 and January 2016, with a total of 14,679 trades placed.

Lin approached others and roped them into the scheme, convincing one man to resign from his job at Sembcorp to trade with Lin, reaping S$10,000 and the use of a Toyota Camry in exchange.


The scheme came to a halt in January 2016, when SGX issued a trade-with-caution warning, titled: “SGX urges caution when dealing in Koyo International Limited shares”.

SGX stated in its announcement that a small group of individuals was responsible for 60 per cent of the trading volume of Koyo between October 2015 and January 2016, of which at least half of these trades were due to the group of individuals buying and selling among themselves.

After the announcement broke, Koyo’s share price crashed by almost 84 per cent, from S$0.34 on Jan 15, 2016, to closing at S$0.056 on Jan 18, 2016.

The market capitalisation of Koyo dropped by more than S$58 million in three days from S$72 million to about S$14 million.

Lin instructed an accomplice to delete all their chat messages and correspondence about the market-rigging scheme.

“Substantial losses were sustained by the accountholders and the brokerage firms,” said the prosecution. 

“The total amount incurred as a result of contra trading losses in the 53 accounts was about S$3.28 million, of which the accountholders bore about S$2.23 million of such losses, while the brokerages and remisiers bore about S$1.05 million of such losses.”

Lin and his wife paid only about S$110,000 for the losses sustained in the accounts in their names.

The prosecution sought between 45 and 48 months’ jail for Lin, whom they called “the most culpable offender in one of the most sophisticated securities-related frauds in our jurisdiction”.

Lin achieved a severe market distortion over 18 months while the scheme was undiscovered, driving the Koyo price up by more than twice, from 16 to 40 cents.

When the scheme was ongoing, it accounted for two-thirds of the trading volume of Koyo shares, said the prosecutors.

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Watch: Air raid siren worries Seoul residents

Residents of South Korea’s capital city Seoul woke to the sound of an air raid siren and an evacuation message played over loud speakers.

The warning was a false alarm, prompted by a failed attempt by North Korea at launching a spy satellite into space, that ended up crashing into the sea.

Earlier Pyongyang had announced plans to launch a satellite to monitor US military activities by 11 June.

Residents of Okinawa in the south of Japan were also issued a warning in response to the launch.

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Right-hand man of mastermind in S$39.9m SkillsFuture fraud gets over 13 years' jail

SINGAPORE: The right-hand man of a mastermind who engineered the largest fraud involving Government funds to date was sentenced to jail for 13 years and nine months on Wednesday (May 31).

Lim Wee Hong David, 44, was part of the syndicate that submitted more than 8,300 fraudulent claims to SkillsFuture Singapore for training course subsidies when no training was conducted.

SkillsFuture was duped into disbursing almost S$40 million (US$29.6m), of which S$21.3 million was laundered away and remains unaccounted for.

Lim pleaded guilty to 15 charges, which include conspiring to convert or transfer criminal proceeds, conspiring to conceal criminal proceeds and forgery of a valuable security. Another 33 charges were considered in sentencing.

The syndicate exploited the SkillsFuture Singapore Course Fee Grant scheme, where business entities in Singapore can apply to SkillsFuture for a subsidy if they send their employees to attend skills training courses with registered training providers.

The masterminds behind the fraud, husband-and-wife pair Ng Cheng Kwee and Lee Lai Leng, registered nine entities as applicant entities or training providers from January 2017.

Lim was roped in as he was Ng’s friend since 2011. He also introduced another co-accused to the couple, who later helped in the criminal scheme.

The group agreed on a scheme to submit false course fee grant claims to cheat SkillsFuture into disbursing training grants.

The mastermind couple used different computers to submit such false claims online, using their relatives’ details and Singpass login credentials.

Between April and October 2017, the nine entities submitted 8,381 course fee grant applications and a corresponding 8,391 claims, lying that three training providers had provided courses to 25,141 employees of the six applicant entities.

Most of the applications and claims were approved automatically, with S$39.9 million disbursed to eight of the nine entities.

After the money was disbursed to the corporate bank accounts of the eight entities, more than S$27.8 million was withdrawn in cash by members of the syndicate.

Lim was involved in the scheme from the start, helping to submit false claims, recruiting a friend to submit false claims and encashing cheques.

He also acted on Ng’s instructions by collecting S$2.6 million in two bags and passing the money to two unknown people.

SkillsFuture noticed that the nine entities used by the syndicate had made abnormally high numbers of course fee grant claim submissions.

It lodged a police report in November 2017.

The prosecution sought at least 168 months to 178 months’ jail for Lim, calling this an unprecedented case of fraud on a public institution.

The public funds allocated to SkillsFuture were meant to help Singapore businesses train and upskill their employees and build a more resilient workforce, said the prosecution.

Instead, Lim and his co-accused pilfered the public funds, causing immense financial losses and reputational harm to SkillsFuture.

Lim’s jail term was backdated to November 2017. He has been on remand for more than five years.

The other members have been sentenced to varying jail terms, with Ng receiving 17 years and nine months’ jail in 2021. His wife was given 14 years’ jail.

SkillsFuture previously said it had acquired new capabilities such as fraud analytics since the incident. It has also put in place new processes to prevent, detect and respond to fraud and abuse.

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Chhattisgarh: India official fined $640 for draining dam to find phone


An Indian official who made headlines after he drained a dam to retrieve his phone has been fined by the government.

Rajesh Vishwas has been ordered to pay 53,092 rupees ($642; £519) for pumping out millions of litres of water without seeking permission from authorities.

He had dropped the device while taking a selfie and claimed it needed retrieving as it contained sensitive government data.

But he has been accused of misusing his position.

The food inspector dropped his Samsung phone, worth about 100,000 rupees, into Kherkatta Dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh last week.

After local divers couldn’t find the phone, he paid for a diesel pump to be brought in, Mr Vishwas said in a video statement quoted in the media. The pump ran for several days, emptying out thousands of litres of water, but by the time the phone was found, it was too waterlogged to work.

At the time, Mr Vishwas had told the media that he had verbal permission from an official to drain “some water into a nearby canal”, adding that the official said it “would in fact benefit the farmers who would have more water”.

But the authorities suspended Mr Vishwas from his post over the incident. And a few days back, the state irrigation department sent him a letter penalising him for his actions. The BBC has seen a copy of the letter.

It stated that Mr Vishwas had wasted 4.1 million litres of water (880,000 gallons) for his “personal interest” and that he had to pay for the water as well as a penalty of 10,000 rupees for “evacuating water without permission”.

It added that his action was “illegal” and “punishable under Chhattisgarh’s Irrigation Act”.

When first reported, the incident had triggered outrage in the country. Many politicians criticised the official’s actions and said that the water could have been put to better use in a country where several regions face water shortages, especially in the scorching summer months.

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SIA to offer free unlimited Wi-Fi for economy, premium economy class passengers from July


SIA’s chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong on Tuesday also shared the airline’s plans to improve its offering for passengers. 

For instance, there will be better seats across all cabins on the new Boeing 777-9 planes that are expected to be introduced in 2025, he said, adding that this will be an “industry-leading” product when it is launched.

SIA also expanded its network during the pandemic, enabling it to now reach about 80 per cent of its pre-COVID capacity. In comparison, airlines in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole have recovered to just over 50 per cent of their pre-COVID capacity, said Mr Goh. 

With SIA subsidiary Scoot’s recent acquisition of the Embraer E190-E2 aircraft that has 112 seats, the budget airline will be able to access “smaller points, particularly in the region”, therefore connecting Singapore and the hub to new places in Southeast Asia. 

Reflecting on SIA’s losses during the pandemic’s early days, Mr Goh expressed gratitude for the strong support from shareholders, allowing the company to raise S$15 billion (US$11.1 billion).

He also highlighted SIA’s decision to continue operations to serve its customers and the nation, even though many airlines ceased international operations due to a lack of demand. The airline also continues to honour customer refunds despite the direct impact on its cash reserves.

Adding that SIA’s employees have “taken quite a bit of sacrifice”, not just in terms of a pay cut, he pointed out that travel operations could not have resumed as quickly if not for their readiness. 

“Ironically, during that period, many of the ground (staff) were working sometimes even harder. Because we were doing a transformation to really get the organisation ready for the restart, in terms of reviewing the processes, reviewing workflow to ensure that we are even better than before,” he said.  

Earlier this month, SIA announced a record annual profit of S$2.16 billion after three straight years of losses. Eligible employees could receive around eight months’ bonus, the airline said.

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Illegal breeder who kept 19 dogs in terrace house fined S$9000

SINGAPORE: A self-professed dog lover kept 19 dogs in his terrace house and engaged in illegal breeding, selling one of the puppies for S$9,500 (US$7,017).

Goh Chong Tse, 37, was fined S$9,000 by a court on Wednesday (May 31) for his offences under the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules.

He pleaded guilty to five charges, including maintaining his home as a farm without a licence by breeding his dog with another dog, owning dogs without licences, and keeping more than three dogs in a place that was not a licensed dog farm or pet shop. 

Another seven charges were considered in sentencing.

The court heard that Goh lived with his wife at 11 Seletar Road from 2019 to about September 2021.

From 2019 to July 2020, the couple owned four dogs – two corgis named Nutella and Waffles, and two shiba inus named Milktea and Pudding.

They bought Nutella and Milktea from a licensed pet kennel, while Pudding was purchased from a seller on Gumtree.

Waffles was a stray that Goh’s wife found. Goh registered Waffles’ licence under his name.

In December 2020, Goh got to know a person named Jermaine Ang. The pair agreed that Waffles would be sired by Ang’s stud dog, Bailey.

They agreed that Waffles would be artificially inseminated, with Ang paying for the insemination. They also agreed that Ang would share 30 per cent of the overall costs and keep one puppy from the subsequent litter.

Waffles gave birth to six puppies in late February 2021. Ang kept one puppy, while Goh and his wife kept four puppies.

The last puppy was sold to someone for S$9,500.

On Feb 9, 2022, officers from the National Parks Board (NParks) acted on information they had received and inspected Goh’s home.

He had moved to a terrace house in Parry Road. During the inspection, the officers seized 19 dogs – most of them corgis.

The officers also found that Goh did not have valid licences to own three of the dogs, named Mantou, Ruffles and Truffles.

The prosecutor sought a fine of S$9,400 for Goh. She said almost all the puppies had discharge, tear staining and poor dental health.

Most of the puppies had dirty coats stained with faeces, and almost half of them had light staining of the teeth and gingivitis, she said.


Defence lawyer Amarjit Singh asked instead for a fine of S$6,000.

He said his client worked as a chauffeur for private airport transfers before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, and was also a Grab driver, while his wife was a homemaker.

However, he lost his job during the pandemic and took on various jobs including delivery work and a COVID-19 swabber to make ends meet.

Goh and his wife share a strong affinity for dogs, said Mr Singh.

“His actions were driven by his deep love and affection for his dogs and puppies,” said the lawyer.

He said Goh had a history of anxiety and took solace and comfort in the companionship of his dogs and puppies.

The seizure of his dogs has negatively impacted both Goh and his wife, who self-harmed afterwards, said Mr Singh.

The judge allowed Goh to pay the fine in instalments.

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Wrestlers' protest: IOC says police action against Indian athletes very disturbing

Indian wrestlers along with their supporters gather to immerse their medals in the river Ganges as a mark of protest against Brij Bhushan Singh, the wrestling federation chief, over allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation, in Haridwar on May 30, 2023. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has condemned the way India’s top wrestlers are being treated during their ongoing protest.

It has also demanded an investigation into allegations that Indian wrestling chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh sexually harassed female athletes.

The wrestlers were temporarily detained by police on Sunday as they tried to march to the new parliament building.

They were demanding the resignation and arrest of the federation chief.

Mr Singh, who is also an influential MP from the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has denied the allegations and accused the wrestlers of being “politically motivated”.

On Tuesday, he told reporters that the Delhi police was investigating and that they would arrest him if they found anything against him. “Let the investigation take place, it is in the hands of Delhi police,” he said.

Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia and two-time world champion medallist Vinesh Phogat, were among those who were detained and later released by the police on Sunday. The police also filed cases including of rioting against them.

Visuals of the athletes being dragged and carried off in buses went viral, sparking criticism from top athletes and opposition politicians.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the IOC “urged the safety and wellbeing of these athletes” and called for “a speedy conclusion” of the investigation.

It said it had been in close contact with United World Wrestling (UWW) – the international organisation governing amateur wrestling – over the situation.

The UWW also issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it was following “with great concern” the wrestlers’ protests “over allegations of abuse and harassment by the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI)”.

“It expresses its disappointment over the lack of results of the investigations so far,” the statement said and added that the UWW would hold a meeting with the wrestlers to inquire about their safety and “reconfirm our support for a fair and just resolution of their concerns”.

The UWW also said that it might suspend the WFI if its upcoming elections were not held on time.

The wrestlers, who have been protesting for over a month now, had first protested in January but called it off after Mr Singh was stripped of his administrative powers by the sports ministry and the government promised to investigate their complaints.

However, they restarted their protests in April, calling for his arrest.

On Tuesday, the wrestlers had threatened to throw their medals into the Ganges – India’s holiest river. They said they had first considered returning their medals to the president and the prime minister but were disappointed that they had not spoken about the protests even once.

“These medals are our life and soul… We feel there’s no meaning to having these medals around our necks anymore,” they said in a statement.

But they were persuaded by Naresh Tikait, leader of influential farming group Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), to not throw their medals yet. Mr Tikait later told reporters he was giving the government five days to take action.

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Pet supplies e-retailer Perromart becomes insolvent, gets new owner amid dozens of complaints

SINGAPORE: Perromart, a popular pet supplies e-retailer, has been sold to a new operator after customers lodged nearly 200 complaints with Singapore’s consumer watchdog over the last five months.

Perromart’s previous sole owner, 25 Holdings, became insolvent and was placed under receivership in March, its new receiver and manager Farooq Mann told CNA on Monday (May 29).

This means it was unable to meet its debt payments on time. Companies can take several routes to rescue the business and avoid bankruptcy, including receivership – a court-appointed tool to help creditors recover funds they are owed.

Perromart – which branded itself as Singapore’s largest online pet store – first came under fire in January when customers turned to social media to air their grievances over delayed or unfulfilled orders.

At the time, its co-founder Roy Lim told CNA the company was unable to catch up on orders and support tickets due to supply chain disruptions and manpower issues stemming from the Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year holiday periods.

Mr Lim said these were “not excuses” and that Perromart would improve its processes and operational turnaround time, as well as “launch new services that include predictive delivery based on respective products”.

However, in March, Mr Mann was appointed receiver and manager of Perromart after it became insolvent.

It has since been sold to an operator in the same industry, but Mr Mann said he was not at liberty to disclose the buyer’s name at the moment.

“The incoming owner-operator of the business is confident that the new business will be able to provide excellent customer service to all existing and new customers,” added the managing partner of Mann & Associates PAC.

The new owner-operator intends to continue operating at Perromart’s new warehouse in Kallang. Perromart had announced in February that it was in the midst of moving there.

Mr Lim did not respond to further queries from CNA on the receivership.

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Elon Musk: Tesla boss on first China trip in over three years

Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China on 31 May.Reuters

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is in China, as he makes his first trip to the world’s second largest economy in over three years.

He arrived in Beijing on Tuesday and is also expected to visit Tesla’s huge manufacturing plant in Shanghai.

The multi-billionaire met China’s foreign minister Qin Gang within hours of arriving in the country.

Mr Musk has not yet publicly commented on the trip, which comes amid tensions between the US and China.

He also declined to make any comments about his plans for the trip when asked by reporters as he left a hotel in Beijing on Wednesday.

Later on Wednesday, Mr Musk met China’s industry minister Jin Zhuanglong and discussed the development of electric vehicles.

In a statement on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry said that Mr Musk was willing to expand the car maker’s business in the country, which is Tesla’s biggest market after the US.

The ministry added that during the meeting Mr Musk had described the economies of the US and China as “conjoined twins”.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

Mr Musk has also been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter, which he owns and where he has more than 141 million followers.

He is known for tweeting many times a day but as of midday on Wednesday had not posted anything since arriving in the country on Tuesday afternoon.

The social media platform is banned in China but it can be accessed through VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks.

Mr Musk is the latest high-profile US executive to make a trip to China. JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon is also in China this week, while Apple boss Tim Cook visited the country in March.

However, as tensions rise between Washington and Beijing Tesla finds itself in a difficult position, Dan Ives from investment firm Wedbush Securities said.

“Playing nice in the sandbox in Beijing is something Wall Street is laser focused on, to make sure there are no disruptions to Tesla’s expansion within China for the coming years,” Mr Ives added.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk's private jet is seen at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China.


In January 2019, Tesla started building its so-called gigafactory in Shanghai, which was the firm’s first manufacturing plant outside the US.

Later that year, it delivered its first Chinese-made cars, marking a major milestone for the American company.

However, Covid lockdowns across the country, including in the financial, manufacturing and shipping hub of Shanghai, made it increasingly difficult for manufacturers to operate.

Last year, Mr Musk said the coronavirus lockdown of Shanghai was “very, very difficult” for Tesla, which reportedly halted most of its production at its gigafactory for several weeks.

Operations have since resumed at the plant, which produced its millionth car in August, according to Mr Musk. This accounted for a third of Tesla’s global production.

Last month, the company said it planned to build a new factory in China to make its large-scale “Megapack” batteries.

China has also become the largest market for Tesla’s Model Y mass-market electric vehicle, according to market research firm JATO.

More than 94,000 Model Y vehicles were sold in China in the first three months of this year, putting it ahead of the US and Europe, JATO data shows.

In recent years, Tesla’s lead in electric vehicle market has been challenged by increased competition from car making giants, including Ford and General Motors, as well as newer entrants into the market like China’s BYD and Nio.

Mr Musk – who bought Twitter last year for $44bn (£35.5bn) – has been under pressure to find someone else to lead the company and refocus his attention on his other businesses, including Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX.

Earlier this month, he named Linda Yaccarino, the former head of advertising at NBCUniversal as the platform’s new chief executive.

Ms Yaccarino will face the challenge of running a business that has struggled to be profitable, while facing intense scrutiny over how it handles misinformation and hate speech.

Twitter is now worth around a third of what Mr Musk paid for it, according investment firm Fidelity, which helped to finance his takeover of the company.

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