While Chew begins jail, it came to light that the boatman accused of abetting his alleged escape attempt had previously abetted an individual to illegally leave Singapore for Malaysia.
Former City Harvest Church fund manager Chew Eng Han started serving his jail sentence for criminal breach of trust today (March 1), after the District Court decided not to remand him further.
This comes after the prosecution told the court that they are not seeking for Chew, 57, to be further remanded for investigations on his alleged attempt on Feb 21 to illegally flee the country.
On Feb 27, the Apex Court had ordered Chew should start serving his jail term of three years and four months for criminal breach of trust when he is no longer under remand.
For Chew’s alleged offence of illegally leaving Singapore, the case has been adjourned to March 29 so that the police can complete their investigations. If convicted, he could be jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$2,000.
Chew was supposed to start serving his jail term for criminal breach of trust last Thursday (Feb 22).
But a day before he was supposed to surrender himself to the court, Chew was nabbed by the police for allegedly trying to leave the country illegally.
Separately, a 53-year-old boatman Tan Poh Teck – who was charged last Thursday with abetting Chew to flee the country – faced another charge for allegedly assisting another man to illegally leave Singapore.
Court documents showed that at 8.15am on Dec 17 last year, Tan had abetted an individual known as Shanker Mahalingam to illegally leave Singapore by transporting him using a motorised boat from a beach near the PA Water Venture outlet at Changi to the vicinity of fish farms near Pulau Ubin. Shanker then boarded another boat which departed for Malaysia.
Tan, who will return to court on March 7, has been accused of transporting Chew from Pulau Ubin to Malaysia using a motorised sampan. If found guilty, he could face a jail term of between six months and two years and fined up to S$6,000.
Besides Tan, two other suspects were arrested for abetting Chew to allegedly escape from Singapore.
They include Malaysian Khoo Kea Leng, 46, who was charged on Wednesday (Feb 28) and accused of collecting S$8,000 in cash from Chew in the vicinity of Block 75 Marine Drive last Tuesday (Feb 20), as part payment for conveying Chew from Singapore to Malaysia.
Chew’s elder brother, Chew Eng Soon, 61, was also detained last week on the same day as his brother but was later released on bail.