SINGAPORE: A man accused of abetting the bribery of an ex-supermarket employee by booking a yacht and purchasing three bottles of whiskey was charged in the State Courts on Friday (Mar 10).
Lim Wei Jian, 32, the latest to be indicted in a string of alleged graft cases involving NTUC FairPrice staff, was handed five charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act and one count under the Penal Code for obstructing the course of justice by deleting WhatsApp text messages from his mobile phone.
At the time of the alleged offences between 2018 and 2020, Lim was an employee of Kiang Huat Sea Products, a seafood supplier.
Lim was said to have bribed NTUC FairPrice storekeeper Chua Teow Hym in 2018 and in 2019 by giving him drinks amounting to S$60 on up to 60 occasions each year, so that Chua would advance Kiang Huat’s business interests with NTUC FairPrice.
Lim was also handed two amalgamated charges of bribing Chua in 2020 and 2021. For each year, he was said to have bribed Chua with food and drink amounting to S$210 on up to 60 occasions, similarly to advance Kiang Huat’s business interests with NTUC FairPrice.
In October 2020, Lim was said to have abetted by conspiring with another seafood supplier Fish Vision Agro-tech’s director Chew Kim Hwee and employee Ngow Chun Siong to bribe then-NTUC FairPrice senior team leader Lim Kian Kok.
Lim Wei Jian and his co-conspirators were said to have booked a yacht on Oct 18, 2020 and purchased three bottles of whiskey – a form of entertainment worth up to S$2,000 – for Lim Kian Kok, as bribes to further the interests of Kiang Huat and Fish Vision with NTUC FairPrice.
For the charge of obstructing justice, Lim Wei Jian was said to have deleted WhatsApp texts he exchanged with Chua, the storekeeper, to prevent the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau from reviewing these messages in investigations against him in January 2021.
Lim’s case was adjourned to Apr 21 for him to brief his lawyer.
Meanwhile, all the other men named in Lim’s charges were charged earlier in relation to the alleged graft.
Chua’s case has been fixed for a plead guilty mention on Apr 21, while Fish Vision director Chew is expected to plead guilty on Mar 17. Lim Kian Kok’s has also been fixed for a plead guilty mention on Mar 20. Ngow has already been jailed seven months on one count of graft.
If convicted of obstructing the course of justice, Lim could be jailed up to seven years, fined or both. If convicted of graft, he could be jailed up to five years, fined up to $100,000 or both.