SINGAPORE: The police have arrested a 45-year-old Malaysian man for his suspected involvement in helping ex-City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han's attempted escape from Singapore.
Khoo Kea Leng was arrested in Malaysia with the help of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) after the Singapore State Courts issued a warrant of arrest, and was handed to the Singapore Police Force's (SPF) custody on Monday (Feb 26), the police said in a news release. He will be charged in court on Wednesday, they added.
Chew, 57, was charged last Thursday (Feb 22) with attempting to flee the country from Pulau Ubin in a motorised sampan on Wednesday morning.
He was on bail of S$1 million and due to turn himself in on Thursday to start serving a jail term of three years and four months 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.
Another man, 53-year-old Tan Poh Teck, who was helming the motorised sampan, was also arrested and charged in court.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Hsu Sin Yun said Khoo's arrest would not have been possible without the close collaboration and strong relationship between the SPF and RMP.
"The SPF will spare no efforts to hunt down criminals who commit crimes in Singapore. We will work with our foreign law enforcement partners to bring these criminals to justice," he added.
Following queries by Channel NewsAsia, Johor's police chief Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd confirmed in a statement that the Malaysian man was arrested at 8.05am on Monday morning in Pekan Nanas, Pontian.
He added that the suspect was then released to the Singapore authorities at noon on the same day.
"The Johor Police Contingent appreciates the collaboration between Royal Malaysia Police and the Singapore Police Force, and will continue their close cooperation for the benefit of both nations," Mohd Khalil said.
Additional reporting by Sumisha Naidu