Chew Eng Han’s boatman allegedly helped another to flee the country

Chew Eng Han’s boatman allegedly helped another to flee the country

Chew Eng Han case boatmen collage
Tan Poh Teck (L) and Khoo Kea Leng  allegedly tried to help City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han escape by boat. (Photos: TODAY, Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The boatman who allegedly helped Chew Eng Han flee the country in February has been accused of helping a third man do the same in August last year. 

Tan Poh Teck, 53, was first charged alongside former City Harvest Church leader Chew on Feb 22. On Wednesday (Mar 7), the fish farm owner was accused of helping a third man, Goh Chun Kiat, flee the country.

Earlier, at a second hearing on Mar 1, Tan had been slapped with a second charge of helping a wanted man skip town in December 2017.

Tan allegedly picked Goh up from a beach in Changi and transported him – in the same motorised sampan he and Chew were caught in – to the vicinity of a fish farm near Pulau Ubin. Goh then caught another boat bound for Malaysia, the authorities alleged.

A Malaysian man charged on Feb 28 with abetting Chew to flee the country appeared in court alongside Tan on Wednesday. Khoo Kea Leng, 45, who was allegedly paid S$8,000 to help Chew, did not face more charges. 

Tan and Khoo were offered bail of S$25,000 and S$20,000 respectively.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vincent Ong had urged for bail to be granted to Tan for S$40,000. Given that he had allegedly helped “yet another person to leave Singapore illegally”, bail should be set at a high amount, Mr Ong argued. He added that the investigation has not concluded.

Both men will next appear in court on Mar 29 alongside Chew, who is accused of fleeing the country to avoid a serving a jail term of three years and four months for misusing S$50 million of church funds. It is the largest fraud involving charitable funds in Singapore’s history.

Chew has since started serving time

Chew, 57, and Tan were arrested at sea on Feb 21. They were intercepted by the Police Coast Guard about 2.4km away from Pulau Ubin. The PCG had been tipped off that Chew was making a run for Malaysia.

For abetting a person to leave Singapore illegally, Tan could be jailed for six months to two years per charge, and fined up to S$6,000 per charge.