by: Ryosuke Ono
Accusations of bribery were first leveled by the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The organization provides development assistance to fight infectious diseases. It said in a report that it uncovered evidence that two employees of Sumitomo Chemical Singapore Pte Ltd. paid the director and another senior official at the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control between 2.8 and 6.5 percent of each contract amount they were awarded. The money was paid as a commission through a fictitious consultancy firm. One of the employees was a sales manager.
The funds were then purportedly paid to the officials’ personal accounts. Sumitomo Chemical Singapore is one of the world’s top providers of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, which prevent the spread of malaria.
Between 2006 and 2011, Sumitomo Chemical Singapore secured at least seven contracts worth $4.6 million (4.7 billion yen) through the malaria center.
Commissions paid to officials at the center are believed to have totaled around $260,000. Sumitomo also paid a World Health Organization (WHO) employee in Cambodia $2,800 to cover travel and other expenses for a private trip to Singapore in exchange for insider information on the procurement of mosquito net contracts, the Global Fund’s investigation said.
The Global Fund report quoted the sales manager as saying that he had approval from a superior in charge of accounting and that he knew it was illegal.
Sumitomo Chemical Co. denied involvement or knowledge of any suspected wrongdoing by employees from its Singapore subsidiary.
This article was written by Ryosuke Ono and originally published on asahi