STOCKTON, July 17, Reuter: Bribes charges laid against a Singapore arms executive are likely to bring new investigations into the affairs of beleaguered Swedish armsmaker Bofors AB, one of the case prosecutors said in an interview published today.

“There are many indications that we will begin a preliminary investigation in connection with Bofors’ affairs in Singapore”, Lars Ringberg told the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

The Singapore executive, Tan Kok Cheng, was charged yesterday with corruption and forgery offences concerning Swedish arms exports to Singapore.

Tan, General Manager of allied ordinance company of Singapore Private Limited (AOS), was charged with forging documents, giving false information and corruptly agreeing to accept about 900,000 dollars for helping Bofors set up a proposed missile manufacturing plant in Singapore.

“If bribery charges are brought abroad, it must be natural that we scrutinize the other end of the affair,” Ringberg said.

Bofors is already being investigated by Swedish authorities after admitting smuggling missiles to Middle East states banned by Swedish arms export laws from receiving weapons.

Last April Sweden suspended arms sales to Singapore following the disclosure in Stockholm that Bofors arms shipments to the Island State might have been re-exported illegally.

But the Singapore Ministry of Defense said yesterday the charges against Tan were not related to the current Swedish investigation into illegal exports to the Middle East.

Last May a Swedish visited Singapore to improve cooperation between the two countries over the affair.

“Tan’s indictment is the result of pooling our information with the Singaporean authorities,” Nils Rosenberg, the Foreign Ministry official in charge of the trip, told Reuters.

In a separate probe, an independent commission reported to the Swedish government in June allegations that Bofors had paid senior Indian officials up to 40 million dollars in bribes while negotiating a major weapons deal.

The commission’s inquiry concluded that Bofors had made payments of two to three per cent of the total contract value of 1.3 billion dollars but did not say to whom.

Article extracted from this publication >>  July 24, 1987