SINGAPORE: Former City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han began serving his sentence of three years and four months on Thursday (Mar 1).
The prosecution did not seek to extend Chew’s remand, pointing to the Court of Appeal’s order earlier in the week.
Chew, 57, will next appear in court via video link on Mar 29, when an investigation into his plans to flee the country is expected to be completed.
Chew faces one count of fleeing the country to Malaysia.
The boatman accused of helping Chew to skip town was slapped with a second charge Thursday.
Tan Poh Teck allegedly helped a man, Shanker Maghalingam, to flee the country illegally in December last year.
Tan, who owns a fish farm, took the man from “a beach near PA Water Venture (in Changi) … to the vicinity of the fish farms,” where the man got onto another boat bound for Malaysia, the authorities alledge.
Tan had used the same motorised sampan when he picked Chew up at Pulau Ubin jetty on Feb 21. They were arrested at sea at 8.47am, after the Police Coast Guard intercepted them following a tip-off. The pair had claimed to be on a fishing trip when they were caught.
Chew was due to start his jail term the following day for his role in the misappropriation of S$50 million of church funds. It was the largest fraud involving charitable funds in Singapore’s history.
Tan will next appear in court on Mar 7, together with a Malaysian man also accused of helping Chew to flee.