Man sentenced to 6 months in jail for abetting Ex-City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han to escape

5 City Harvest Church leaders surrender, begin jail terms
A combination photo shows City Harvest Church's members (top L-R to bottom L-R), former finance manager Serina Wee, former fund manager Chew Eng Han, former finance manager Sharon Tan, founder Kong Hee, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng and former treasurer John Lam arriving at the State Courts in Singapore October 21, 2015, where a verdict is expected to be delivered for their trial of misappropriating S$50 million ($42.5 million) of church funds and falsifying the church's accounts. Reuters

The Malaysian man, who helped the former City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han to flee Singapore, was sentenced to six months of the jail sentence on Thursday.

The accused, Khoo Kea Leng has pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy with the accused of the money laundering case Chew to flee the country from an unauthorised place of embarkation.

Earlier the court heard that the 45-year-old Khoo met Chew at a car park near Block 75 Marine Drive to discuss the escape plan along with Tan Poh Teck and allegedly received S$8,000 as the payment from the former leader to transport him to Malaysia.

The 57-year-old Chew, who was supposed to begin his jail term of three years and four months on February 22 for his involvement in the misuse of charitable money worth S$50 million. But he tried to flee the country via a motorised boat from Pulau Ubin Jetty at around 8.30 am on February 21 but was caught by Police Coast Guard few minutes before his escape.

Chew finally started his jail term from March 1. He was handed an additional charge on March 29 for attempting to flee the country illegally to avoid the jail sentence on February 21. Earlier, he was sentenced to six years in prison but it was reduced to three years and four months by the High Court in April 2017.

Along with Chew, there are five others, including the founder of the Kong Hee, who are already serving their jail term.

The 53-year-old Tan was charged with abetting the culprit to leave the country by taking him on a motorised boat from unauthorised departure place, Changi.

During the hearing of the City Harvest Church case, his lawyers told the court that he had urged the prosecution and police to provide him access to take instructions and understand Tan's condition.

Reports said that the pre-trial conference for the money laundering case involving Chew and Tan will take place on May 3, 2017.

This article was first published on April 12, 2018