CPIB officer facing 21 charges of fraud involving at least $1.7 million

An assistant director from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) was charged in court on Wednesday for misappropriating at least $1.7 million from the anti-graft agency between 2008 and last year.

Edwin Yeo Seow Hiong, who faces 21 charges in total, told the court he does not intend to engage a defence lawyer but had asked if he could have some time to deal with "family problems" and to prepare his mitigation plea. The charges, he added, were served on him by the police Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) only on Tuesday.

Yeo, 39, is also accused of forgery and using the fruits of his crime to gamble. He remains in police custody pending a hearing on Friday to review the $500,000 bail set by the court for his release.

Prosecutors told the court that the $1.7 million covers the first eight charges Yeo faces, although about $67,000 has been recovered.

The CPIB said in a statement released shortly after the court proceedings, that the bureau first discovered the case on Sept 14 last year.

Yeo, a 15-year-veteran of the bureau, was subsequently suspended from duty and interdicted the next day after preliminary investigations.