Man allegedly took $8,000 deposit to help Chew flee to Malaysia

A Malaysian man allegedly collected an $8,000 deposit to help convicted former church leader Chew Eng Han flee Singapore.

Khoo Kea Leng, 45, is said to have conspired with Chew, a former City Harvest Church fund manager, last Tuesday to leave Singapore from an unauthorised departure point.

Khoo allegedly collected the money from Chew near Block 75, Marine Drive, as part payment for arranging for Chew's transport from Singapore to Malaysia.

Chew, 57, was nabbed while he was on board a motorised sampan off Pulau Ubin during his alleged escape attempt last Wednesday.

Chew, a father of two, was arrested by the Police Coast Guard a day before he was to start his jail term of three years and four months. The boatman Tan Poh Teck, 53, was also arrested.

Chew and five other church leaders were convicted earlier of misappropriating church funds in the largest case of fraud involving charity money in Singapore's history.

When Chew was arrested, about $5,000 in cash, as well as fishing equipment, was also found on the boat.

Khoo allegedly collected the money from Chew near Block 75, Marine Drive, as part payment for arranging for Chew's transport from Singapore to Malaysia.

Both men were charged last Thursday. They will be back in court today.

Khoo was arrested by Malaysian police in Johor Baru and handed over to the Singapore authorities on Monday, after a warrant of arrest was issued by Singapore State Courts.

The next day, he was taken to the alleged crime scene at the Marine Drive carpark, and was charged yesterday. He is being remanded at Central Police Division until next week.

As investigations were ongoing, Khoo's request to speak to his family members in court was rejected.

If convicted under the Immigration Act, he faces a jail term of not less than six months and not more than two years, as well as a fine of up to $6,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2018, with the headline 'Man allegedly took $8,000 deposit to help Chew flee to Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe