Singapore City Harvest Church case: 2 accused who helped Chew Eng Han to escape out on bail

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

Two men, who were accused of abetting 57-year-old former City Harvest Church (CHC) leader Chew Eng Han to leave Singapore illegally, have received bail on Wednesday. The 45-year-old Malaysian Khoo Kea Leng was offered a bail of $20,000, while the other accused, Tan Poh Teck, 53, paid $25,000 for his bail.

Earlier, the court heard that the accused met Chew at a car park near Block 75 Marine Drive to discuss the escape plan along with Tan and allegedly received S$8,000 as the payment from the former leader.

Tan, a fish farm owner, has faced another charge on Wednesday for helping a man called Goh Chun Kiat to illegally leave Singapore on Aug 17, 2017, at around 9.30 am from an unauthorised place of embarkation.

According to court documents, the accused allegedly transported Goh through a motorised boat from a fish farm near Pulau Ubin, where he boarded another boat and left for Malaysia. But, till now there is no clarification about who is Goh.

Earlier, Tan's lawyer, Hee Joek from Tan See Swan & Co told the court that he asked prosecution and police to allow his access to take instructions and understand Tan's condition.

Both the accused have been asked to be present at the court on March 29, 2018, after the completion of their bail period.

However, Chew, who was arrested on Wednesday, Feb 21, has already started his jail sentence of three years and four months for misappropriating millions of money from CHC fund.

The court considered the crime to be a criminal breach of trust and due to the charges his jail sentence was scheduled to begin on Feb 22. However, he tried to flee the country via a motorised boat from Pulau Ubin Jetty and wanted to hide somewhere in Malaysia. In addition, he also secured multiple deferments.

Along with Chew, there are five other former CHC leaders, including the founder of the Kong Hee, who was convicted for misappropriating money worth S$50 million. Other culprits have started their jail term in 2017 April.

This article was first published on March 7, 2018