City Harvest Church case: Police arrest 1 more accused in Malaysia for helping Chew in escape plan

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Man involved in City harvest Church case arrested in Malaysia (Representational picture)

A 42-year-old man, who allegedly helped the former City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han to attempt to leave the country illegally, is now under police custody.

Singapore Police Force said in a statement on Sunday that the accused, Tan Kim Ho, was arrested in Malaysia after issuing a warrant against him by the Singapore State Court. A spokesman said that the Royal Malaysia Police helped in the arrest and the local police took him into custody on Saturday, April 14.

The ex-leader Chew was supposed to begin his jail term of three years and four months on February 22 for misappropriating charitable money. But he tried to escape from the country on February 21 via a motorised boat from Pulau Ubin Jetty at around 8.30 am and was caught by Police Coast Guard a few minutes before his escape.

When the officers arrested the father of two, Chew, with the boatman, Tan Poh Teck, they found S$5,000 in cash, as well as some fishing equipment.

In this case, police also arrested two men, the 45-year-old Khoo Kea Leng and Tan Poh, 53, for abetting 57-year-old Chew to flee the country from an illegal embarkation site to hide somewhere in Malaysia.

Chew started his jail term from March 1 and faced some additional charges on March 29 for attempting to flee the country illegally to avoid his three years and four months jail term. Apart from him, there are five other convicted in City Harvest Church money laundering case, including the founder Kong Hee. All the convicts have started serving their jail term now.

Khoo has already pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy with Chew to flee the country from an unauthorised place of embarkation. He was sentenced to six months of imprisonment on April 12. During his sentencing, the court heard that he met Chew at a car park near Block 75 Marine Drive to discuss the escape plan along with Tan Poh and apparently received S$8,000 as the payment from the former leader to transport him to Malaysia.

Another accused, Tan Poh was also charged with abetting the culprit to leave the country by taking him on a motorised boat from unauthorised departure place, Changi.

Reports said that the pre-trial conference for the cases involving Chew and Tan Poh is now scheduled on May 3. On Monday, April 16 the recently arrested Tan Kim will be charged.

This article was first published on April 15, 2018