SINGAPORE: A businessman pleaded guilty to 12 counts of giving bribes worth S$2.4 million to a former food and beverage manager of Swedish furniture giant Ikea.
A District Court heard on Thursday morning that Andrew Tee Fook Boon, 44, had bribed Leng Kah Poh over seven years in return for the latter to place orders with Tee's companies.
The sum involved is one of the highest amounts paid to an individual here.
Court documents revealed that as Tee's company AT35 Services was not doing well, he accepted an offer by associate, Gary Lim Kim Seng, in October 2002 to take over a food supply business.
Tee was then introduced by Lim to Leng, who had full authority in making decisions pertaining to the operations of the Ikea restaurant then. The trio agreed to share the profits if Leng chose AT35 Services as Ikea's food supplier.
From August 2005, a new business, Food Royale Trading, was set up to take over part of AT35 Services. Food Royale would supply dry food items and sauces, whilst AT35 Services would continue to supply marinated chicken wings.
Between January 2003 and July 2009, the businessmen gave Leng money derived from the business dealings with Ikea on 80 occasions.
The conspiracy was uncovered around June, last year by Ikea when an internal audit found the restaurant was purchasing food supplies at a price significantly higher than the market rate.
Ikea carried out an internal investigation into the matter, and the case was referred to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.
Tee's case has been adjourned to January 20 when his mitigation plea and the Prosecution's submission on sentence will be heard.
He faced 80 charges in total and pleaded guilty to 12 of them. The remaining 68 charges were taken into consideration.
If convicted, Tee faces a fine of up to S$100,000 and/or a jail term of up to five years on each corruption charge.
Channel News Asia