SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man who fled to Malaysia to avoid the authorities was sentenced to 11.5 years' jail on Tuesday (Sep 24) for cheating, drugs and immigration offences.
According to court documents, Goh Chun Kiat had cheated 27 timeshare membership owners of about S$606,000 between November 2014 and March 2017.
The 41-year-old had duped the timeshare owners into believing that he and his agents would help them recover money from their terminated timeshare memberships.
These timeshare owners then paid various fees and charges to Goh and his runners, but did not receive any money in return.
In April 2017, Goh was arrested at the basement carpark of The Plaza along Beach Road for several offences including those involving drugs.
Police officers seized three packets containing methamphetamine and Goh also tested positive for the drug.
Court documents said that Goh began consuming the drug in 2016 – first taking it occasionally but eventually progressing to consuming it on a daily basis.
Following his arrest, Goh was released on bail of S$15,000 and four personal bonds of S$500 each.
FLED TO JOHOR BAHRU
Knowing that he was wanted by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and the police, Goh hatched a plan to flee Singapore and illegally make his way to Thailand via Malaysia. His passport had expired in 1993.
In August 2017, he paid a man S$20,000 to help him leave Singapore via Changi Jetty in a speedboat.
Both men took the speedboat to a fish farm near Pulau Ubin, where they alighted and then boarded a second boat before arriving at a restaurant in the Masai area of Johor Bahru.
The speedboat was controlled by Tan Poh Teck, the same boatman who helped former City Harvest Church leader Chew Eng Han in his attempt to escape Singapore by boat.
Goh was arrested by Malaysian authorities later that month and served five months' jail for illegal entry into Malaysia. In February 2018, he was repatriated to Singapore and he was arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint.
Goh pleaded guilty to 15 counts of cheating, one count of drug consumption, one count of an offence under the Immigration Act and two counts of other offences, said a police news release on Tuesday.
Another 123 counts of offences which include cheating, using forged documents as well as possessing counterfeit seals and stamps to commit forgery were taken into consideration for sentencing.