29 Jun 2018

Singapore court fines company with Nauru link over corruption

2:07 pm on 29 June 2018

A Singapore court has fined a local company buying and shipping phosphate from Nauru with corruption.

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Photo: 123rf

Getax Ocean Trades Propriety Ltd in 2010 paid a then Nauru MP, Ryke Solomon, around US$20,000 as an inducement to advance the business interests of an associated company, Getax Australia, in Nauru.

According to the Straits Times, Mr Solomon, who died soon after retaining his seat in the 2016 elections, had wanted the money to help his election chances in 2010.

A member of Nauru's government at that time, Sprent Dabwido, who went on to become president the following year, says soon after returning from a trip to Singapore Mr Solomon backed an attempt to overturn the government in a vote of no confidence.

Mr Dabwido said this sort of corrupt behaviour was common in Nauru.

The Australian Federal Police has previously had Getax Australia under investigation for bribery.

Nauru's Justice Minister David Adeang, and the President Baron Waqa, earlier denied allegations they were among those receiving kickbacks from the Australian company.

The Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau says Singapore adopts a zero tolerance approach to corruption.