Singapore

Former GM of town council claims trial in corruption case

The corruption case involving Ang Mo Kio Town Council's former general manager will go to trial, after he pleaded not guilty yesterday.

Wong Chee Meng, 58, also known as Victor Wong, faces 55 counts of corruptly accepting gratification from Chia Sin Lan, director of companies 19-ANC Enterprise and 19-NS2 Enterprise, and Ms Yip Fong Yin, director of 19-NS2.

Wong was general manager and secretary of the Ang Mo Kio Town Council at the time the acts were allegedly committed.

The Straits Times understands that Wong plans to contest all the charges.

Chia also pleaded not guilty yesterday. Chia and Wong are currently out on bail of $100,000 each. A pre-trial conference has been set for May 3.

Wong allegedly took bribes amounting to $107,000 from Chia and Ms Yip, in exchange for advancing the business interests of the companies with the town council, court documents show.

The alleged bribes include remittances to Wong's mistress in China worth $30,600, entertainment expenses of more than $40,000 at KTV lounges and nightclubs, among others.

The alleged offences took place between December 2014 and September 2016.

Chia, 62, is accused of 54 counts of giving bribes to Wong.

He also faces one count of abetment for allegedly conspiring with Ms Yip to bribe Wong by making arrangements for Wong to receive the $13,500 car purchase discount.

Wong was removed from duty after the town council received a complaint about him in September 2016 over the way he handled contracts and dealings in the town council.

He was later investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, and charges were brought last month.

If convicted, Wong and Chia could be fined up to $100,000 and jailed for a maximum of seven years on each charge.

The companies could each face a fine of up to $100,000 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

COURT & CRIME