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22 December 2011

MHA uncovers fraud case during internal audit, Officer charged in court today


A civilian clerical officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Liew Chee Meng, aged 35, was charged in court today for forgery, cheating, criminal breach of trust and conversion of proceeds of crime. The offences relate to acts allegedly committed in the course of his employment with the Ministry. The total amount involved is $617,087.
2.            Liew is alleged to have forged approval documents for purchases of gift vouchers which he then used for his personal purchases. The alleged acts took place between 2007 and early 2011. They were uncovered by MHA in January this year following proactive audits undertaken pursuant to the SLA fraud case.
3              The matter was immediately reported to the Police and subsequent investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department have resulted in this prosecution. Investigation officers have also seized $474,962.85 worth of goods from the accused person.
4              As the case is now before the courts, MHA is unable to provide further details at this point in time.
MHA Views the Case Extremely Seriously
5              MHA views this case extremely seriously. After the incident was discovered in January this year, the Ministry took immediate steps to tighten procurement processes, and strengthen internal controls.
6              An Independent Review Panel was also convened comprising senior officials from other ministries and a statutory board, to examine the facts and circumstances of the case, and to review current systems.
7              The Panel has concluded its review, and made recommendations to improve procurement procedures and internal controls. MHA has accepted all the recommendations and implemented them.
8              Disciplinary proceedings have been taken against the 5 MHA officers whose oversight allowed the fraud to happen. The relevant officers have been disciplined in accordance with the Civil Service disciplinary framework.
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
22 DECEMBER 2011
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