14 months' jail for Malaysian who moved $216,000 in ill-gotten gains across the Causeway

Fong Bee Yeok, 38, transported cash from Singapore to Johor Baru for a $100 commission per transaction.
Fong Bee Yeok, 38, transported cash from Singapore to Johor Baru for a $100 commission per transaction.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - On five separate occasions in September, a Malaysian woman was handed $216,000 in ill-gotten gains which she was told to transport from Singapore to Johor Baru.

Fong Bee Yeok, 38, who received $100 in commission for each transaction, was jailed for 14 months on Monday (Dec 18) after pleading guilty to two counts each of receiving monies which were benefits of criminal conduct and removing the cash from Singapore.

She also admitted to one count of moving out of the country more than $20,000 in cash without giving a full and accurate report to an authorised officer.

Ten other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Through her boyfriend, Fong got to know a man known only as Brother, who was looking for somebody to collect cash from Singapore in exchange for a commission.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lim said: "Although she had never met Brother in person and was not aware of the underlying nature or purpose of the cash, she agreed to carry out this task."

Between Sept 10 and 25, Brother instructed her to meet one Ms Ong Loke Boey to collect large sums of cash. 

For instance, on Sept 22, Fong met Ms Ong at a bus stop near Bugis MRT station and Ms Ong gave her $48,000 in cash. Fong took the money across the Causeway later that day.

She met Ms Ong in the same area two days later to receive another $48,000 which she transported to Malaysia.

DPP Lim told the court that Fong did not ask Brother about the purpose or source of the money.

Stressing that she had reasonable grounds to believe the cash Ms Ong gave her was obtained through criminal conduct, he added: "Brother also warned the accused not to meet Ong in an area with CCTV cameras, and the accused suspected that this was because Brother was involved in criminal conduct and did not want the collection of the money to be recorded."

On Oct 4, a real estate agent lodged a police report stating that an online persona known only as Kelvin Lee had cheated her into transferring a total of $288,130 into five different bank accounts. Court papers did not reveal details about these incidents of cheating.

For acquiring the money obtained through criminal behaviour, Fong could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $500,000 per charge.