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Tuesday
Feb252014

Singapore anti-corruption official jailed for stealing public funds

A senior anti-corruption who ran up gambling debts at Singapore's two casino resorts was sentenced to ten years in prison after confessing to stealing nearly $1.4 million in public funds.

Edwin Yeo, 39, an assistant director in the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal breach of trust and forgery.

Prosecutors said Yeo had gambling losses of about a million dollars over the past few years. Only about $50,000 of the stolen money has been recovered, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Squeaky-clean Singapore has always ranked near the top of the corruption perceptions index. It tied with Norway for 5th on the most recent release. It was ranked number one in the world in 2010.

Yeo had served 15 years with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and was the head of field research and technical support.

In another case last week, a former senior official from Singapore's foreign ministry was sentenced to 15 months in jail. He confessed "to making false expense claims for wine and pineapple tarts that were purportedly consumed during diplomatic functions," the Wall Street Journal said.

Last May, the former chief of Singapore's emergency-services agency was found guilty of accepting sexual favors from female employees of companies seeking government tenders. He was jailed for two months and served four more months on home detention, the WSJ said.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.