Former Pokka International CEO fined for failing to disclose interest in deals and more

SINGAPORE: The former CEO of Pokka International was fined S$15,000 on Monday (August 22) for failing to disclose his interest in three business deals.

Ong Eng Sing, 47, also known as Alain Ong, was also banned from acting as a corporate officer or running a business for two years.

He pleaded guilty to three counts under the Companies Act, Singapore police said in a press release.

From 2010 to 2017, Ong held various positions at Pokka International and Pokka Corporation (Singapore), including as Director of the two beverage companies.

During the same period, he also owned 40% of Asian Story Corporation (ASC), another beverage company.

Between 2010 and 2017, the two Pokka entities concluded three agreements with ASC.

These included a distribution agreement and framework between Pokka International and ASC in 2010 and 2017, and a manufacturing agreement between Pokka Corporation and ASC in 2016.

“On these three occasions, Ong did not disclose its interest in these transactions to Pokka International or Pokka Corporation,” police said.

Deputy Attorney General David Koh called for the sentence, citing the need to deter serious corporate misconduct.

He pointed out that Ong had not revealed his interest in CSA at any time during the seven years in which the breaches took place.

Mr. Koh added that Ong provided no explanation for not disclosing his interest, which was relevant to determining the appropriate sentence.

Defense lawyers Timothy Tan and Tara Heng said their client accepted the prosecution’s position on sentencing and highlighted his “foresight and dedication to Pokka”.

“Despite a partial, indirect and beneficial interest in ASC, (Ong) has never abused its position in Pokka,” they said.

They also said he was remorseful and willingly cooperated with Commerce Department investigations.

Ong could have been jailed for up to a year or fined up to S$5,000 for failing to disclose his collateral interest in a transaction.

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