Brother of ex-City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han out on bail

Former City Harvest Church fund manager Chew Eng Han leaving the State Courts in a police van on Feb 22, 2018. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - The brother of former City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han was released on bail on Friday afternoon (Feb 23).

Earlier, police arrested Chew Eng Soon, 61, on Wednesday for abetting Chew Eng Han in leaving Singapore unlawfully.

Chew Eng Han, 57, was charged on Thursday with leaving Singapore unlawfully, a day after his escape attempt by boat was foiled.

The former church fund manager was nabbed at sea on Wednesday morning while trying to leave Singapore illegally by boat.

Chew was due to begin his jail term of three years and four months on Thursday for his role in the City Harvest Church saga, the largest case of misuse of charitable funds in Singapore's history.

But he was arrested along with the boatman, Tan Poh Teck, at 8.47am on Wednesday at sea off Pulau Ubin on a motorised boat.

On Thursday, Tan, 53, was charged with abetting Chew in leaving Singapore unlawfully by conveying him on the motorised boat from Pulau Ubin Jetty - which is a not an authorised place of embarkation, departing point or point of departure - with the intention of taking him to Malaysia.

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Former City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han was believed to be heading to Malaysia on a boat on Wednesday (Feb 21) when he was intercepted and arrested by police. He was due to start his jail term for his role in the church's misuse of fund case.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhongshan said Chew and Tan each faced a holding charge under the Immigration Act. He asked that the duo be remanded at Central Police Division for investigation.

Five other City Harvest Church leaders - including founder-pastor Kong Hee - who were also convicted of misusing church funds, began serving their sentences last April. However, Chew, who was out on $1 million bail, had secured multiple deferments.

After his jail term - which was reduced from six years by the High Court in April last year - was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Feb 1, Chew had asked to defer his sentence until after Chinese New Year.

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