A Malaysian man who helped ex-City Harvest Church (CHC) leader Chew Eng Han in his attempt to flee Singapore was jailed six months on Thursday (12 April).
Khoo Kea Leng, 45, pleaded guilty in the State Courts to one count of conspiring with Chew on 20 February this year to leave Singapore illegally.
Chew, 57, was supposed to start his three years and four month’ jail term on 22 February for his role in misusing $50 million of church funds to support the career of pop singer Sun Ho along with five other CHC leaders. The ex-CHC fund manager was out on bail when he planned his escape attempt.
Court documents show that on 21 February, Chew tried to flee on a motorised sampan with 53-year-old boatman Tan Poh Teck. They were travelling towards Malaysia from Pulau Ubin, which is an unauthorised departure point, when they were intercepted by the Police Coast Guard at about 8.50am.
Chew had earlier approached Khoo for help to leave Singapore. Khoo asked Chew to pay a $12,000 fee, which was to be divided evenly between himself, Tan, and a Malaysian man named Rayson. The latter had arranged for the boat to convey Chew from Singapore to Malaysia.
Chew paid an initial sum of $8,000 to Khoo near Blk 75 Marine Drive on 20 February.
For his planned escape bid the next day, Chew followed Rayson’s instruction to bring along some fishing items to make it seem like a fishing trip.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Vincent Ong asked the court to impose the mandatory minimum of six months’ jail on Khoo. For his offence, Khoo could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $6,000.
Chew faces two charges for his escape attempt and is scheduled to appear in court again on 3 May.
Tan faces one charge of abetting Chew to leave Singapore illegally, and two other similar and unrelated charges.
Rayson, who is under police investigation, is still at large.