Nine caught up in Phey's net

Nine people were dealt with in court, mostly for criminal breach of trust (CBT), in the wake of the Phey Yew Kok scandal.

LEE SIN PIN

He was general manager of the Silo Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society's supermarkets. On Dec 31, 1980, he was sentenced to between five months and a year in jail on four counts of CBT. He misappropriated goods worth $212,000 belonging to Silo.

Witnesses said invoices for goods and delivery orders originally made out for Boon Teck PAP - Phey's constituency - were later changed to Savewell.

Savewell, a private supermarket chain, was Phey's brainchild but it had difficulties in getting supplies.

Boon Teck PAP was put on the invoices to obtain the goods at cost. But the goods eventually ended up at Savewell's outlets in Bedok, Clementi and Ang Mo Kio, not Silo's emporiums.

Witnesses said when they asked why they had to work on a Sunday to do the deliveries, they were told Savewell's management did not want to attract publicity.

LEOW GEOK KOON

The Silo operations manager was convicted of CBT on the same day as Lee and was jailed for eight months. He misappropriated goods worth $81,000.

Leow and Lee later appealed, but lost. Both said they were "only following instructions" from Phey.

WONG SAY HONG

The Savewell Supermarket chairman, who was previously Silo's purchasing manager, was sentenced to between four and 10 months' jail on four counts of abetting Lee and Leow.

He said money for Savewell came from Silo's staff funds, and insisted that he saw the former as part of Silo.

PHAY YEW JAN

Phey's cousin was general manager of NTUC Travel Services. He was sentenced to eight months' jail in 1980 on each of five charges of misappropriating $19,000 which he used to buy a colour TV set, and to pay rent and his wife's hospital bills, among other things. The jail terms were concurrent. A further 44 charges involving $49,000 were taken into consideration.

His lawyer said that since NTUC Travel was set up in 1974, Phay was left on his own to run it and the only person he consulted was Phey, who was executive director of NTUC Travel and authorised all the transactions in the charges.

IRENE YEO CHOOI LAN

 

She was the first woman to be elected vice-chairman of NTUC, in 1979. She was fined $4,500 for forging rebate vouchers as Silo secretary. The Straits Times reported that she "wept in the dock". Yeo filled the vouchers with fictitious reference information in order to buy goods from Silo and PIEU supermarkets for herself.

Her lawyer claimed that she faked the vouchers to prove to Phey that there were flaws in the system, and that even his trusted aides could abuse their positions.

TAN AH MENG

A branch chairman of the Pioneer Industries Employees Union (PIEU) overseas textile branch, he was fined $2,000 on a CBT charge involving nearly $2,000.

ONG THIAM SENG

Another PIEU branch manager, he was fined $1,200 for CBT involving $36.

YOON MEI YOKE

Silo's general treasurer was jailed four months for fabricating evidence.

EDDIE KAN MUN LEONG

The accountant told the CPIB that he received a letter from Phey in April 1979, when in fact he got it in June that year. He was fined $1,000.

Tee Zhuo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 28, 2015, with the headline 'NINE CAUGHT UP IN PHEY'S NET'. Print Edition | Subscribe