SINGAPORE - Sales executive Lee Sze Yong, 44, who allegedly hatched the plan to kidnap the mother of Sheng Siong supermarket boss Lim Hock Chee in 2014, went on trial on Tuesday (Aug 30) in the High Court.
His accomplice, Heng Chen Boon, 51, was sentenced to three years’ jail last year after pleading guilty last year to a reduced charge of helping Lee abduct Madam Ng Lye Poh. He was released from prison earlier this year and is lined up to testify as a prosecution witness.
Lee still faces the kidnapping charge. If convicted, he faces the death penalty or life imprisonment with caning.
He allegedly abducted Madam Ng along Hougang Avenue 2 on Jan 8, 2014, with the intent to hold her for a ransom of $20 million.
The court heard on Tuesday that Lee lied to Madam Ng that Mr Lim had had a fall in the office. She got into Lee's car and was blindfolded.
The then 79-year-old was freed unhurt after her son dropped off a $2 million ransom at Sembawang Park.
The duo were nabbed at about 1am the following day. The full ransom sum has been recovered.
Mr Lim took the stand on Tuesday to give his account of how Lee called him on his mobile phone and demanded $20 million in exchange for releasing Madam Ng, how the ransom was eventually reduced to $2 million and how he was instructed to drop the bag of money under a tree at Sembawang Park.
It was Singapore's first kidnap-for-ransom case in over a decade.