Lawyers for Vietnamese tycoon detained in Singapore seek access to client

Nicholas Yong
Assistant News Editor
File photo of the Singapore Flyer observatory wheel overlooking the skyline of the central business district in Singapore. REUTERS/Edgar Su

UPDATE: Lawyer Remy Choo was granted permission by immigration authorities to see his client Phan Van Anh Vu on Wednesday (3 Jan) afternoon.

Lawyers acting for a Vietnamese property developer detained in Singapore have filed an application to the High Court to compel immigration authorities to grant him access to legal counsel.

Remy Choo, one of three lawyers acting for Phan Van Anh Vu, 42, told Yahoo News Singapore on Tuesday evening (2 January) that he had also filed an junction to prevent his client’s deportation back to Vietnam before the application is heard.

Choo and his two colleagues are also asking the Controller of Immigration for the basis for Vu’s detention, and are seeking an urgent hearing date for him. Vu has applied for asylum to Germany.

“My client’s family is concerned that there is an imminent threat of deportation,” said Choo, who is a director at Peter Low & Choo LLC.

On Wednesday, immigration authorities agreed to give Choo access to his client, said the lawyer.

Vu, who is reportedly wanted in Vietnam for revealing state secrets, was detained at Tuas Checkpoint last Thursday as he tried to leave for Malaysia.

In a one-line media statement, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority said on Tuesday, “Phan Van Anh Vu was arrested on 28 December 2017 for committing offences under the Immigration Act.”

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security said last month it was seeking the arrest of Vu, a developer in the central city of Danang, where the local leadership was shaken up after corruption accusations last year.

Yahoo News Singapore understands that Vu is a former member of the Vietnamese intelligence services.

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