Man jailed for pocketing $1.15m meant for ship purchase

An Indonesian national was jailed for 21 months on Friday for misappropriating $1.15 million meant for the purchase of a vessel.

Ng Tjeu Fen, 64, had been on the run since 2001 and was arrested at Changi Airport when he tried to enter Singapore last November.

He admitted to criminal breach of trust of three United Overseas Bank cheques totalling $1.15 million at Apollo Centre, Havelock Road, between Aug 30 and Sept 1, 2001.

A district court heard that Ng, a director of PT Putra Majesindo Lestari (PML), managed to source a vessel for government officials from Sabang City in Acheh. The vessel cost eight million Indonesian rupiah.

It was agreed that the money would be transferred to PML from the government of Sabang City.

An intermediary representative of PML would disburse the money to Ng who would then pay the seller, Mr Quek Sin Whatt, from Foong Sun Shipping.

Of the four cheques received amounting to $1.25 million, Ng only handed over one cash cheque for $100,000 to Mr Quek and pocketed the rest.

He subsequently fled to China where he lived until his arrest in Singapore.

His lawyer told the court that her client would be making partial restitution of $33,777 next week.

Ng, whose sentence was backdated to Nov 19, could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined.