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Ex-Singapore Official Acquitted in Sex-for-Contracts Case

Former Head of Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau Ng Boon Gay
Former head of Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau Ng Boon Gay, center, could have been jailed for as long as five years and fined as much as S$100,000 on each of the four corruption charges if convicted. Photographer: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

The former head of Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau was acquitted of corruptly obtaining sexual favors from a woman seeking agency contracts.

Ng Boon Gay, 46, the former director at the drug enforcement agency, gave evidence in a forthright manner while the woman’s testimony had several discrepancies, subordinate courts Judge Siva Shanmugam said today.

Ng and former civil defense chief Peter Lim, both charged with obtaining sex from women seeking contracts at their agencies, were Singapore’s most senior officials accused of corruption since 1995 when they were dismissed last year. Ng, who admitted to an affair with a 36-year-old female executive, said he didn’t help her secure business. Lim, whose trial is scheduled to start Feb. 18, denies the charges.

The prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, Shanmugam said. Ng could have been jailed for as long as five years and fined as much as S$100,000 ($81,000) on each of the four corruption charges if convicted.

Tan Ken Hwee, deputy chief prosecutor in Singapore’s economic crimes and governance division, said at Ng’s trial that a civil servant obtaining gratification from a person seeking business with the government is presumed to have done so corruptly.

Shanmugam ruled that while the case triggered the presumption of Ng’s corruption, the accused was able to rebut that presumption regarding four instances of oral sex with the woman, which the judge found occured in the context of an intimate relationship.

“The prosecution will study the grounds of the ruling and assess whether or not to appeal,” the attorney general’s office said in an emailed statement.

The criminal case is Public Prosecutor v Ng Boon Gay. DAC21011-14/2012. Singapore Subordinate Courts.

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