Batam police re-arrest Singaporean after freeing him

SINGAPOREAN Lim Yong Nam was re-arrested just minutes after he was released from detention on Tuesday, following a court order issued the day before.

On Monday, a Batam court ordered Mr Lim's release after it found that the Riau Islands police did not have sufficient documentation at the time of his arrest to detain him.

Mr Lim, 41, was arrested at Batam Centre ferry terminal when he sought to enter Indonesia on Oct 23 last year, and has been detained in Batam since.

The businessman, who is on an Interpol list, is wanted by the United States for breaching a US trade embargo against Iran. The US had accused him of acquiring 6,000 radio frequency modules for export to Iran and asked for his extradition in 2011.

But he was not extradited as the Singapore High Court found that the wrongdoing he was accused of was not an offence here.

Mr Lim's lawyer told The Straits Times yesterday that he went to the police headquarters in Batam, together with two representatives from the Singapore Consulate, to ask for Mr Lim's release.

Mr Zevrijn Boy Kanu said the police agreed to release him, but would keep his passport. But before Mr Lim could leave the building, several police officers re-arrested him. "To me, the re-arrest is unlawful. I am waiting for instructions from my client to take the matter to court again," he added.

Yesterday, Lieutenant-Colonel Armaini of the Riau Islands police told The Straits Times that Mr Lim was re-arrested as the police feared he would flee before his extradition proceedings commence.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said the ministry has expressed deep concern to the Indonesian embassy in Singapore over Mr Lim's continued detention despite the Batam court's ruling.

"We have requested Indonesia to urgently provide an explanation on the legal basis for Mr Lim's re-arrest and detention. We also reiterated our request that Mr Lim be accorded his due legal rights and privileges," the spokesman said.

JOYCE LIM, WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA