SINGAPORE: One of the five suspected members of a criminal syndicate involved in a S$40 million SkillsFuture claims scam was denied bail on Wednesday (Jan 10), on the grounds that there is a risk that he could destroy evidence and dissipate the proceeds.
Lim Wee Hong David, 39, was slapped with seven charges in December in relation to the scam.
This was the second time he has been denied bail after his previous application was rejected on Nov 27 last year.
Lim was charged with four counts of acquiring a total of S$1.8 million in cash from a Vincent Peter when he had reasonable grounds to believe it was criminal proceeds.
He was also charged with perverting the course of justice by deleting WhatsApp conversation and call logs with co-accused Ng Cheng Kwee and Lee Lai Leng, concealing S$600,000 in criminal proceeds by “causing a computer to perform a function for the purpose of securing access to a program with intent to commit cheating" and giving false information to a Commercial Affairs Officer.
Lim’s lawyer, Chia Boon Teck told the courts that his phone and computer has been seized, and the point on the possibility of him destroying evidence is “moot”.
Furthermore, since Lim’s last bail hearing, the “alleged mastermind” of the scheme Ng Cheng Kwee has surrendered himself to the police in early December, which means that the risk of Lim communicating with Ng to operate the syndicate “is no longer relevant", said Mr Chia.
He added that the accused wants to go on bail because his mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and only has six months left.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhuo Wenzhao said that although Lim’s handphone and computer has been seized, “there is reason to believe that he still has evidence that he has yet to reveal to CAD (Commercial Affairs Department).”
Mr Zhou added that the CAD is still trying to locate the whereabouts of a missing S$600,000.
“Given that he was the last known person is possession of the money not recovered, there is a risk that he will conceal or dissipate these monies if released on bail," he said.