1. In June 2010, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) detected a number of irregular payments in its Technology and Infrastructure Department (TID).
2. Two officers, Koh Seah Wee, Deputy Director of TID, and Christopher Lim Chai Meng, Manager of TID, are suspected to have conspired to cheat SLA. They are believed to have rendered false invoices through various business entities, for fictitious IT maintenance services and goods which were not delivered. The transactions took place between Jan 2008 and Mar 2010. The total amount involved is about $11.8 million.
3. Upon detection, SLA reported the matter to the Police. The Police have been investigating the case. Investigations against Koh’s activities in SLA are largely complete and another tranche of charges was tendered against Koh in court earlier this morning. At present, Koh has been charged with 249 counts of cheating and other offences. Lim, as well as the individuals running the business entities which are believed to have provided the false invoices, are still assisting Police with their investigations.
4. SLA had in place finance and procurement processes which were in accordance with Government guidelines. The two officers are suspected of conspiring with each other and with the said business entities, thus enabling them to circumvent the checks and balances in the processes.
5. SLA had worked with Police to recover the amounts involved. Cash and assets worth about $10 million (out of $11.8m defrauded) have been located and secured so far.
6. Upon being informed of the matter in June, the Ministry of Law established an independent review panel chaired by a senior Government official of another Ministry and comprising also members from other Ministries. The Panel was tasked to identify how the irregularities could have taken place. The Panel was also asked to recommend improvements to SLA’s systems and processes. The Panel had recently completed its review and SLA has been implementing the Panel’s recommendations.
7. Following the findings of the Panel, the Ministry of Law has also directed that disciplinary investigations be commenced in respect of two officers whose oversight might have allowed the fraud to take place undetected. These investigations are in progress, and disciplinary action will be taken, if and where found appropriate.
Singapore Land Authority
Ministry of Law
28 September 2010