Jurisdiction - Singapore
Reports and Analysis
Singapore – Recent Anti-Corruption Developments.

30 July, 2012


Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore – Regulatory & Compliance



Singapore has been highly successful in tackling corruption, consistently ranking as one of the world’s least corrupt jurisdictions in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (“CPIB”), which is the sole agency responsible for combatting corruption in Singapore, adopts a zero tolerance policy on corruption and has a very successful track record. As a result, major corruption cases involving Singapore are infrequent, although there have been a number of significant cases in recent months.
Recent international corruption cases
The most notable recent international corruption case relating to Singapore involved four individuals convicted in the English courts on 25 January 2012 for conspiring to unlawfully obtain payments. The defendants, all British or Belgian nationals, offered to supply confidential information to bidders in relation to five separate tenders for high-value oil and gas engineering projects, including the Singapore Parallel Train Project. As the acts of conspiracy occurred in 2001-2009, the case was decided under the pre-Bribery Act 2010 regime.
Recent domestic corruption cases
Cases against public officials
The past six months have seen two of the most significant domestic cases of corruption involving public officials in many years.
In November 2011, two senior employees of the Singapore Land Authority were jailed for misappropriating SG$1.2 million of public funds by making payments under fictitious contracts, the largest abuse of Singapore public funds since 1995.
In separate proceedings, the CPIB brought corruption charges against the former heads of the Singapore Civil Defence Force and Central Narcotics Bureau. Each of the accused was charged with corruptly obtaining sexual gratification from female employees of vendors seeking to do business with their respective organisations. Pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations, the officials were removed from office in January 2012. These cases demonstrate the willingness of the CPIB to hold even the most senior officials accountable.
Football match-fixing cases
The CPIB has recently brought a number of cases concerning the payment of bribes to fix football matches in Singapore.
In May 2012, a Singaporean national was charged with bribing a Malaysian referee (who was also subsequently charged) to fix a Malaysian Super League match. During the same month, two former South Korean professional players were also sentenced on charges of paying bribes, but this time the bribes were made to players in exchange for throwing a game. 
Match-fixing is a widespread problem in Southeast Asia and has been a target of CPIB investigations in the past.

For further information, please contact:


Mark Johnson, Partner, Herbert Smith


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.