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A former managing director of Marine Life Aquaculture was charged in court on Friday (Oct 14) for cheating the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) out of $246,400.
Tan Chee Boon, 47, allegedly got then-AVA to disburse the amount from the Food Fund and the Agriculture Productivity Fund to his company between 2015 and 2017 by submitting fictitious equipment reimbursement claims.
Both funds were administered by AVA, and were launched in 2013 and 2014 respectively, to provide funding support for farmers in Singapore to purchase equipment to increase farm production.
In 2015, Marine Life Aquaculture received $35,000 from the Food Fund that Tan applied for to reimburse it for equipment purportedly purchased.
He allegedly cheated AVA by dishonestly concealing from AVA in September and October 2016 that the equipment had not been purchased.
For doing so, Tan has been charged for cheating offences.
In 2016, he allegedly submitted fictitious quotations from a purported overseas company to fraudulently obtain approval for funding support of up to $1.4 million from the Agriculture Productivity Fund for Marine Life Aquaculture.
In 2017, under the approved funding support, Tan allegedly cheated the AVA to disburse $211,400 from the Agriculture Productivity Fund to reimburse Marine Life Aquaculture for equipment that the company did not purchase.
For doing so, Tan has been charged for forgery and cheating offences.
If convicted, he faces the following punishments:
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) was formed as a new statutory board under the then-Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources on April 1, 2019.
SFA brings together food-related functions carried out by the then-AVA, the National Environment Agency and the Health Sciences Authority.