Asia

Ex-employee of semiconductor giant Micron fined, penalised for receiving bribes

SINGAPORE – A former employee of semiconductor firm Micron was on Wednesday (Oct 20) sentenced to a fine of $16,000 and a penalty of $5,000 for receiving bribes.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said that Karu Jeyamani Karrupiah, 43, had received bribes totalling $16,000 on nine occasions between Nov 17, 2016, and July 11 last year.

The Malaysian was at the time a senior technical specialist at Micron Semiconductor Asia Operations and responsible for overseeing a variety of maintenance works for Micron’s mechanical-related systems.

Karu accepted the bribes from Veerasamy Raghu, the then director of construction firm Royal Quality Management (RQM), in exchange for advancing RQM’s business interests with Micron.

RQM had been one of Micron’s contractors since 2013.

Raghu sensed an opportunity when Karu became a father and around Nov 17, 2016, offered him money to advance RQM’s business interests. Karu agreed to Raghu’s offer and received $1,000 from him in his bank account.

On eight occasions between June 2017and July 11 last year, Karu received bribes from Raghu ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.

In return, Raghu expected Karu to continue engaging RQM for maintenance works such as scaffolding works, changing of air-conditioning filter works, and cleaning scrubber packings for Micron.

CPIB said investigations showed that from 2016 to 2020, there was an increase in the number of assignments which Micron, through Karu, awarded to RQM.

Karu was charged on Sept 2 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Anyone who is convicted of corruption can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000.

CPIB said Singapore has a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption, and that companies are strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by their employees.

Guidance for companies on how to prevent corruption can be found in Pact: A Practical Anti-Corruption Guide for Businesses in Singapore, which is available on CPIB’s website.

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