Sheng Siong kidnapping trial: Suspect even had a 'spending plan' for ransom money

Lee Sze Yong, one of the accused involved in the Sheng Siong kidnapping case, was brought back to Sembawang Park for police investigations.
Lee Sze Yong, one of the accused involved in the Sheng Siong kidnapping case, was brought back to Sembawang Park for police investigations. ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM

Lee Sze Yong was fixated on getting rich by kidnapping someone wealthy and demanding huge ransom sums.

After he was arrested for kidnapping the 79-year-old mother of Sheng Siong supermarket boss Lim Hock Chee, police found, among a stack of documents, two pieces of paper on which Lee tabled a "spending plan" for the ransom money.

He told police: "I had a dream of becoming rich. I thought if I managed to get $10 million or $20 million ransom, I could buy a $5 million or $8 million property as well as buying expensive cars. These are just my illusion (sic)."

In the two tables - one based on a hypothetical $10 million ransom and the other on a $20 million ransom - he worked out how he would use the money to clear his debts, and buy a house and cars for himself and his former sexual partner and "soulmate" Heng Chen Boon.

Based on a $10 million ransom, he would spend at most $5 million on a house and buy himself a $300,000 Mercedes cabriolet, while Heng would get a $200,000 BMW X1. Another $100,000 would be set aside for shopping.

 

If the ransom was $20 million, he would buy an $8 million house and spend $880,000 on a Ferrari California for himself. The shopping budget would be doubled.

The rest would be invested, put into fixed deposits and savings, and used to start a business.

But Lee not only thought of the best-case scenario, he also envisioned the possibility of his kidnap plan failing. He drafted a message in Chinese to Heng, to be sent if he was arrested, telling him to sell their four-room HDB flat and downgrade to a three-room flat. Lee also prepared an authorisation letter to transfer his share of the flat to him.

Lee and Heng were penpals who had a decade-long sexual relationship. Lee and his mother later moved into Heng's flat and Lee said he serviced the $623 monthly loan repayment.

Lee told police that when his father was placed in a nursing home, he could not make ends meet with his $2,000 salary. He used credit cards for food and drinks and overseas trips, and owed close to $200,000 to various banks.

Lee also used the name of a friend to borrow money and to buy a $110,000 Volkswagen Scirocco that was registered in the friend's name but used by him.

Selina Lum

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2016, with the headline 'Suspect even had a 'spending plan' for ransom money'. Print Edition | Subscribe