Sheng Siong kidnapping: Kidnappers chose Sembawang Park as drop-off for $2m ransom

Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee was instructed to drop off $2 million in Sembawang Park. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee was instructed to drop off $2 million in Sembawang Park. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Overlooking the Johor Straits, Sembawang Park is a relatively tranquil and quiet spot away from the city.

It was here that kidnappers instructed Sheng Siong's CEO to drop off $2 million if he wanted to see his mother again.

The park, which has several pavilions, is popular with residents and visitors on weekends, who visit it to fish, jog, cycle and do water sports.

But it is quiet on weekdays, with just a handful of residents who swing by for strolls or jogs in the evenings.

The 15ha park, at the end of Sembawang, has several links to the naval history of Singapore. One of the area's key landmarks, for instance, is the Sembawang Shipyard, which once served as the Singapore Naval base.

It is also where the Victorian-style Beaulieu House, which dates back to 1910, still stands. It was designated for military use when the Sembawang Naval Base was developed in the 1920s to 1930s. The house served as the residence of the most senior British naval officer in Singapore in the early 1940s.

The park is surrounded by other historical sites and buildings such as the Admiralty House, Kampong Wak Hassan, Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang and Sembawang memorial.

New amenities were added by the National Parks Board last year. These include a promenade, fitness corner, barbecue pits, toilets and shelters. The park also has a new children's playground modelled after a battleship, inspired by its maritime history.

"It's a rather secluded and quiet park compared to others like East Coast Park. It can be quite dimly lit as well," said undergraduate Praveena Murlethran, 25, who visits the park every few months.

Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee drove alone to the park with a bag containing $2 million on Wednesday just before midnight. He was told by the kidnappers to put the money by a tree near a pavilion.

His mother was found about an hour and a half later in Seletar Aerospace Drive, about 20 minutes from the park by car.

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