Singapore orders ex-church leader to serve prison term for fraud
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Singapore - A Singaporean man involved in a multi-million
dollar church fraud scandal and who tried to escape prison by fleeing
in a boat was Tuesday ordered to start serving his sentence this
week, local media reported.
In an urgent hearing court hearing, the five-judge Court of Appeal
ruled that Chew Eng Han, an ex-fund manager for the City Harvest
Church, would start serving his jail sentence on Thursday.
That is provided no further remands for his assistance in the
investigation into his escape attempt are ordered, the Straits Times
Chew, alongside five other church leaders, was found guilty in 2015
of misusing 50 million dollars of church funds to promote the singing
career of the wife of the church's founder.
Chew had been sentenced to three years and four months' imprisonment
for his role, and was due to begin serving his sentence last
However, he was arrested around 2 kilometres off shore by the police
coast guard on Wednesday along with another man as they attempted to
flee on a motorized sampan with about 5 000 Singapore dollars in cash
and fishing equipment.
Police said they appeared to have been attempting to depart Singapore
illegally for Malaysia.
The arrest was the latest chapter in a saga that has gripped the
nation state for the last five years.
A prosecution appeal to reinstate longer jail sentences for the
accused after their jail terms were cut almost in half by the High
Court in 2017 was rejected by the court earlier this year,
drawing public criticism and a government pledge to amend a law that
allowed for shorter sentences.