It’s not often — every 16 years or so — that we have something big to report from Singapore. That’s why the tiny Southeast Asian nation (along with New Zealand and Denmark) is ranked by TI as the least corrupt country on earth.
But Bloomberg’s Ann Koh and Andrea Tan reported last week on the biggest case of public fraud in Singapore since 1995.
It wasn’t about bribery but dipping into the public till.
‘Koh Seah Wee was sentenced to 22 years in jail and Lim Chai Meng to 15 years for their roles in cheating Singapore government agencies of S$12.5 million ($10 million),’ Bloomberg said.
The former bureaucrats from the Singapore Land Authority did a lousy job of covering their tracks. They bought apartments and cars, including a $1.25 million Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SV and a Ferrari F430.
The sentencing judge said buying the limited-edition Lamborghini was a ‘rather egoistic act.”
There was another big case in 1995, Bloomberg said. ‘Choy Hon Tim, a deputy chief executive at the Public Utilities Board, was jailed for 14 years for taking S$13.9 million in kickbacks in Singapore’s [then] largest public sector graft case. Choy was released in 2005 for good behavior.’