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Indian-origin man faces 15 charges for duping Football Association of Singapore

IANS | January 04, 2024 03:52 PM

SINGAPORE: An Indian-origin former deputy director at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) faces 15 cheating charges for awarding the sporting body's supply contracts to companies linked to him or his wife.

Rikram Jit Singh Randhir Singh has admitted to exploiting his position by inducing FAS to disburse SG$609, 380, from which he and his wife, Asya Kirin Kames, made a profit of SG$127, 896.

Their profits have been seized by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and will be returned to the FAS, The Straits Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

In addition to the 15 cheating charges, another 30 similar charges will be taken into consideration for Singh's sentencing on January 16.

Having joined FAS in December 2010 as a marketing manager, Singh rose through the ranks to become a deputy director in July 2017.

FAS is responsible for developing and advancing football in Singapore, and is partially funded by Sport Singapore, which falls under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Asya, who was then not married to Singh, left FAS in December 2013 to set up her own company, All Resources Network (ARN), specialising in event management and the sale of sporting and recreational goods.

ARN regularly organised or supported FAS events and the two got married in 2018, the news report said.

In 2016, Singh convinced former colleague Pallaniappan Ravindran not to wind down his unprofitable company, Myriad Sports & Events, so he could use it as a front to quote for supply jobs that he would then pass to ARN.

While Ravindran agreed to the scheme, he didn't know who the actual supplier would be, Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran told the court.

On Singh's recommendation, the FAS management approved Myriad’s quotations, disbursing SG$116, 335 to it for clappers, stress balls, scroll banners and football scarves between July 2016 and February 2017.

In one instance, Ravindran submitted a quotation for 130, 000 clappers valued at SG$28, 600. The funds were handed over to Singh, and ARN supplied the items to FAS, The Straits Times said.

Singh continued to work with Asya and Ravindran to dupe FAS into disbursing a further SG$287, 300 to Myriad between October 2017 and October 2018.

In October 2017, Asya transferred ownership of ARN to Rikram’s friend, Shankar Suppiah as she was planning to marry Singh and did not want FAS to find out about their conflict of interest.

Asya, however, still controlled ARN and it was agreed that she would receive 60 per cent of the firm’s profits.

Singh, Asya and Shankar duped FAS into disbursing a further SG$58, 100 for the supply of clappers and banners, the court heard.

Their offences came to light when CPIB received information in January 2019 that Singh had misappropriated money from FAS.

An independent audit conducted by the company found it had not paid more than the market rate for the items supplied by ARN.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sukumaran sought a jail term of 24 to 30 months for Singh, stating that Singh's offences involved a misuse of public funds and were difficult to detect by virtue of his position as deputy director.

His accomplice Shankar was sentenced to four months’ jail in November 2022 after pleading guilty to five counts of cheating.

The cases of Asya and Ravindran are pending in the court.

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