Yang Yin trial: Prosecution finds holes in Yang’s testimony

Yang Yin in a police car in November 2014.
Yang Yin in a police car in November 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

DPP disputes reason he gives for a sum of $40k he received from wealthy widow

A sum of $40,000 which Yang Yin had received from wealthy widow Chung Khin Chun was raised in court yesterday, as the prosecution sought to poke holes in the former China tour guide's testimony.

Yang said Madam Chung had transferred the money for him to buy a car, after he told her over the phone that he had obtained his driving licence.

The 42-year-old, who faces two charges of misappropriating $1.1 million from the widow, claimed he then used the money to buy a red car in China to practise driving before he came to Singapore.

However, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Sanjiv Vaswani pointed out during his cross-examination yesterday that the money was remitted to Yang on March 25, 2009, while he was in Singapore.

According to immigration records, Yang entered Singapore on Feb 27 and left on March 27 that year. Records from the Traffic Police also showed Yang had received his licence in China only in August 2009, months after the sum of $40,000 was remitted to his bank account in China, the DPP said.

Referring to Yang's account of the phone call, the DPP said: "There was no such telephone conversation or you had pretended to leave Singapore and then called her and said 'I passed my driving test' and she offered you the money."

Yang later replied that he could have recalled the incident wrongly and that the conversation could have taken place face-to-face.

"To tell you the truth, at that time in 2014... my mind was in a confused state," added Yang.

The DPP also highlighted other inaccuracies yesterday, such as the dates when Yang was in China with Madam Chung and her long-time friend, Madam Chang Phie Chin.

Yang said yesterday that he had acted as a private tour guide for the two women during a trip to Beijing from Oct 20 to Nov 10, 2008.

However, DPP Vaswani produced a letter from Yang dated Nov 4, 2008, in which he told Madam Chung it was a pity their 20-day trip had ended so soon.

"This trip would have ended before Nov 4. Your evidence is that you were happily having a trip until Nov 10," said DPP Vaswani.

Yang, who took the stand for more than two hours on Tuesday to give his side of the story, had claimed that the $1.1 million he is accused of siphoning was a gift from the 89-year-old widow who saw him as the "grandson" she never had.

He also alleged that Madam Chang, 86, had moved out of the bungalow in 2011 after he turned down her request for half of the widow's money - a claim which DPP Viswani said was an "absurd allegation". Madam Chang had moved in to live at the Gerald Crescent bungalow in 2005.

The DPP also produced a 2009 medical report, where Madam Chung had told a psychiatrist that Madam Chang did not want a part of her estate. The medical examination was conducted while the widow was drawing up her will.

The prosecution also disputed Yang's claim that Madam Chung had given him a $4,000 red packet after accepting him as her grandson.

In a letter dated Jan 3, 2009, Yang had written to Madam Chung only to thank her for the red packet, the DPP said. There was no mention of it being given by Madam Chung after she had accepted him as her grandson.

The trial will enter its ninth day today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2016, with the headline 'Prosecution pokes holes in Yang's testimony'. Print Edition | Subscribe