Jail for man over plan to help businessman flee Singapore unlawfully

Alvin Oey Wei Zhong was sentenced to 11 months' jail and a fine of $20,000. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A man was offered between $50,000 and $100,000 to assist Ng Yu Zhi - a businessman allegedly linked to one of Singapore's largest investment fraud schemes - in unlawfully fleeing the country.

Alvin Oey Weizhong, 37, later heard from Keeren Marcus Phang Guan Wei, 32, an alleged accomplice who offered him the cash, that Ng's criminal case had been reported in the news.

Despite this, Oey continued with the plan to help Ng in the escape attempt.

In an earlier statement, the police said that officers found out about the plan during a separate investigation into unrelated gambling offences.

The authorities then took immediate steps to stop the escape bid.

Oey was on Friday (Jan 28) sentenced to 11 months' jail and a fine of $20,000.

The Singaporean will be spending an additional one month behind bars if he is unable to pay the fine.

Oey had pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy with two people - Ding Kuon Chwo, 63, and Phang - to obstruct the course of justice. Oey also admitted to an offence linked to unlawful gambling activities. The cases involving Singaporeans Phang, Ding and Ng are still pending.

Ng, 34, the former director of Envy Asset Management and Envy Global Trading, is said to be linked to a nickel trading scheme that allegedly cheated investors of at least $1.2 billion.

He was charged in court on March 22 last year and currently faces 75 charges including 48 counts of cheating.

Investigations revealed that the following month, Phang heard rumours that the boss of "Envy car shop" wanted to abscond from Singapore and that a "hefty financial reward" was offered to those who could facilitate the escape bid.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Zhi Jie said: "Keeren suspected that this 'Envy car shop boss' is Ng, and he called the accused (Oey) to check if he was able to help someone unlawfully leave Singapore for Malaysia. Keeren offered the accused a reward of $50,000 to $100,000 if the accused was able to assist.

"The accused agreed to help Keeren arrange for this person to unlawfully leave Singapore."

Oey later contacted Ding in April last year and instructed him to find a way to illegally transport somebody out of Singapore and into Malaysia. The court heard that Ding agreed to help him with his inquiry.

About two weeks later, Oey found out from Phang that Ng was the person they were helping to flee Singapore. Oey then said that he would call Phang once he found someone who could help Ng run away.

The DPP told the court: "A few days later, Ding reported to the accused that he managed to find someone who could transport a person out of Singapore to Malaysia illegally.

"Ding informed the accused that one Ah Seng suggested transporting the person by boat from Singapore to Batam, and thereafter from Batam to Malaysia."

Oey later told Ding that the person in question was Ng. Oey also updated Phang on this latest development in their plan.

Phang, however, replied that he had trouble contacting Ng and would alert Oey once he was able to contact Ng.

Oey did not hear back from Phang and about a week later, he tried but failed to personally contact Ng about the plan. The police later found out about it and the trio were charged in court in October last year.

Separately, Oey also committed an offence under the Remote Gambling Act.

The court heard that he had been working for somebody known as "Ah Keong" whom he knew was running an illegal 4D remote gambling service.

Oey also admitted to collecting various amounts from Ah Keong's agents ranging from $1,000 to $60,000 between November 2020 to June 28 last year.

Oey was represented by lawyer Sarbrinder Singh, who told the court on Friday that his client was a "simple runner" and not the "master agent" in the illegal gambling activities.

As for the offence linked to Ng, the lawyer said that the plan was never executed.

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