SMU associate director charged for receiving over $470,000 in bribes

Wan Ting Koh
·Senior Reporter
·2-min read
(Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
Christopher Tan Toh Nghee, 43, was handed charges relating to accepting bribes over 50 occasions from three men to further their business interests with the local university. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

[Updated at 9am, Wednesday, 24 March to reflect university's response.]

SINGAPORE — An associate director of Singapore Management University (SMU) was charged on Tuesday (23 March) with accepting more than $470,000 in bribes.

Christopher Tan Toh Nghee, 43, was handed charges relating to accepting bribes over 50 occasions from three men to further their business interests with the local university.

He allegedly received bribes amounting to $472,000 between August 2017 and November 2019.

The three men were also charged on Tuesday. They are International Alliance Marketing director Kenneth Lum Hsien Loong, 44; CJ Synergy director Cher Kheng Than, 43; and Assetualize managing director Jeffery Long Chee Kin, 43.

Tan faces 50 charges for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting the bribes, while Lum, Cher and Long face 35 charges, seven charges and eight charges respectively for offering the bribes.

Tan and Cher also each face one charge of giving false information to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), as well as one charge each for intentionally obstructing the course of justice.

Tan allegedly lied by telling the CPIB that the purpose of the funds given to him by Cher from June 2019 to October 2019 were meant for the repayment of Cher's loan from him.

Tan also allegedly deleted an electronic note titled “Income by month” from his mobile phone. This note supposedly contained records of the monetary sums he received and expected to receive from the other three men from March 2018 to December 2019.

Cher is accused of deleting an electronic note containing records of funds he gave to Tan from June 2019 to October 2019, and WhatsApp conversations between himself and Tan. He is also said to have lied that the funds to Tan were repayments of loans.

All four will return to court on 20 April.

Responding to a query from Yahoo News Singapore, an SMU spokesperson said that Tan was no longer employed with the university since January 2020.

If convicted of a corruption offence, each of the men can be jailed up to five years, fined up to $100,000, or both. The maximum imprisonment term for each offence of corruption can be increased to seven years if it is in relation to a matter or contract with the government or public body, or a subcontract to execute work comprised in such a contract.

For giving false information relating to corruption offences, a person may be jailed up to a year, fined up to $10,000, or both. A person convicted of intentionally obstructing the course of justice can be jailed up to seven years, fined, or both.

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