Ex-BP Executive to Face Bribery Charges

Posted by Joseph Keefe

A former executive at oil company BP in Singapore was
charged on Thursday with obtaining $3.95 million in bribes in
what the city-state's anti-corruption agency called one of the
largest corruption cases in the country.

Clarence Chang Peng Hong, a former regional director for marine
fuels with BP, was charged with taking bribes from an executive
at a petroleum products supplier in order to advance the
company's business interests with BP, according to the charge
sheet from Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau
(CPIB).

The 51-year-old faces a total of 47 charges, which include
transferring money that "were benefits of corrupt proceeds" to
local Singaporean bank accounts from Hong Kong and "converting
property" that "were direct or indirect benefits of corrupt
proceeds" to buy three houses and two condominiums, the statement
said.

"Those who abuse their position in the company to manipulate
deals for personal gains will face dire consequences", the CPIB
said.

The alleged offences took place between July 2006 and November
2012.

"We understand charges have been filed against Clarence Chang.
His employment with BP ended July 2010," a BP spokeswoman said in
a statement. "We became aware of some concerning activities in
2010 which we reported to the authorities. These charges have
been filed by the Singapore authorities, we cannot comment on
them."

Singapore, known for its tough laws, was ranked sixth in
Transparency International's latest Corruption Perceptions Index.

If found guilty, Chang faces imprisonment for up to seven years,
a fine of up to S$500,000 ($352,485) or both, according to the
CPIB statement.

Chang's lawyer, Alfonso Ang, said that he has only received word
of the case and is discussing it with his client. He added that
the court has adjourned the case until April 6.

Last year, Singapore's financial service sector was hit by
corruption and money laundering investigations tied to Malaysian
state fund 1MDB. Singapore authorities then took the
unprecedented steps of ordering the closure of the local
operations of Swiss bank BSI and Falcon Bank because of their
involvement with 1MDB.

Reporting by Fathin Ungku and Mark Tay

Mar 9, 2017

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