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June 23, 2017

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Singaporean official accused of demanding sex for favors

SINGAPORE -- A key state witness on Thursday gave a graphic account of intimate relations with a former Singapore police official accused of demanding sex for help in winning government supply contracts.

Cecilia Sue, 36, who sold computer technology to government agencies, said Ng Boon Gay, 46, gave her confidential information that helped her secure a contract when he was the director of the Central Narcotics Bureau in 2011.

High-level corruption cases are rare in Singapore, a corporate and financial center known for an efficient and well-paid bureaucracy, and the case has drawn massive interest in the city-state because of lurid sexual details.

State prosecutors say Ng demanded oral sex from Sue on four occasions to further her business interests, violating Singapore's anti-corruption laws, and new evidence presented in court Thursday indicate they had intercourse once.

"I asked him whether there was a leftover budget. I asked him is it about 300 plus (thousand)? He mentioned it was a couple hundred thousand (dollars) or so," Sue said under questioning by the defense.

Asked if Ng influenced the tender for the supply of computer hardware and software to the narcotics board by telling her the budget, she replied "yes."

Ng is the second high-ranking civil servant to face prosecution this year on sex-for-business charges after similar accusations were filed against a former head of civil defense, Peter Lim, in a case also involving technology vendors.

On Wednesday, Sue told the court she decided against reporting the narcotics chief's behaviour to the authorities out of fear, but defense lawyers are questioning her credibility.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong vowed last week that dishonest officials will be punished in order to maintain Singapore's reputation as one of the world's least corrupt countries.

"No cover-ups will be allowed, no matter how senior the officer or how embarrassing it may be. It's far better to suffer the embarrassment and keep the system clean for the long term than to pretend that nothing has gone wrong and let the rot spread," he said.

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