SINGAPORE – A former deputy director of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) was sentenced to 55 weeks in jail on 16 January for exploiting his position to secure supply contracts for companies associated with him or his wife.
Rikram Jit Singh Randhir Singh, 43, admitted to 15 cheating charges on 3 January, with an additional 30 charges taken into consideration during the sentencing.
The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that he and his wife, Ms Asya Kirin Kames, dishonestly induced FAS to disburse S$609,380, resulting in a profit of S$127,896.
Ms Asya, 36, who faced 46 charges related to cheating, had all charges withdrawn on 16 January and was granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal. This implies she cannot face charges again for the same offences.
The reasons for this decision were not disclosed in court.
Former FAS Deputy Director and wife engage in deceptive practices leading to S$609,380 disbursement
The court was informed that Singh became a part of FAS in 2010 as a marketing manager in the revenue-generating department.
His promotion to deputy director occurred in 2017, a position he held until January 2019 when FAS initiated an inquiry into his alleged violation of the association’s code of conduct. The CPIB was also notified at that time.
FAS, tasked with the progress of football in Singapore, obtains partial funding from Sport Singapore, a statutory board beneath the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth. This financial support aims to cover a portion of FAS’s operational expenses.
Rikram and Ms Asya first crossed paths when she worked in FAS’s communications department in 2013. Following her departure from FAS in December that year, she established All Resource Network (ARN).
The couple, actively involved in FAS events through ARN, eventually developed a romantic relationship and married.
In February 2016, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) agreed that FAS would produce and distribute items with NCPG imagery, such as clappers and stress balls, at S-League matches and youth outreach programs.
Rikram persuaded his former colleague, Pallaniappan, not to close down Myriad Sports & Events, an unprofitable company. The aim was to use it as a front to quote for supply jobs.
Pallaniappan, influenced by his friendship with Rikram, submitted a quotation for 130,000 clappers valued at S$28,600.
Despite FAS procurement rules mandating at least three quotations for values between S$3,000 and S$50,000, Rikram instructed his subordinate to find two more quotations, even though the decision to buy from Myriad had already been made.
The subordinate, following Rikram’s direction, created fictitious quotations higher than Myriad’s to justify approval.
Under Rikram’s recommendation, FAS management approved Myriad’s quotations, resulting in a disbursement of S$116,335 for various items between July 2016 and February 2017, supplied by ARN.
In June 2017, MSF engaged FAS again for items with NCPG imagery. In October of that year, Ms. Asya transferred ARN’s ownership to Shankar, Rikram’s friend, while retaining control and 60% of the profits.
Rikram instructed Shankar to submit a quotation for stress balls worth S$27,300, and the same manipulation process was repeated, leading to FAS approving ARN’s quotation.
Through these deceptive methods, Rikram induced FAS to disburse a total of S$609,380.
In November 2022, Shankar Suppiah, linked to the case and the former proprietor of ARN, was sentenced to four months’ jail for his involvement in cheating FAS.
Pallaniappan Ravindran, 50, another individual connected to the case, still has pending charges.
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