Lawyer Charles Yeo wanted by police after breaching conditions for overseas travel while on bail
The former chairman of the Reform Party failed to return to Singapore after obtaining permission to travel to Vietnam for work.
SINGAPORE: Former Reform Party chairman Charles Yeo is wanted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) after he failed to return to Singapore, in breach of court conditions for the approval of his overseas travel.
The police said in a news release on Monday (Aug 1) that they have issued a gazette for Yeo’s arrest following his abscondment. SPF added that it is working with foreign law enforcement counterparts to trace Yeo’s whereabouts.
In an announcement on Instagram on Saturday, Yeo said he was seeking “political asylum” in the United Kingdom, after repeated claims in recent months that criminal charges against him have been "politically motivated".
The police said they are aware of his social media posts.
Yeo was on bail when he left Singapore last week, having obtained permission from the court to travel to Vietnam for work. But instead of returning to Singapore after, the 31-year-old said he had flown to the UK.
Yeo was charged in January for harassing a police officer and wounding the religious feelings of Christians in some social media posts.
SPF said Yeo is also on police bail as he is currently under investigation for separate offences of criminal breach of trust by an attorney and forgery offences, after complaints were lodged against Whitefield Law Corporation. Yeo is a former partner of the law firm.
On Jul 20, the State Courts granted Yeo permission to travel to Vietnam for work between Jul 27 and Jul 30.
The police said Yeo reported to the investigation officer on Jul 26 to collect his passport, provide his travel itinerary and furnish additional bail before his departure the next day.
Under the conditions of his application to leave Singapore, Yeo was required to report to the investigation officer on Aug 1 at 6pm to surrender his passport upon his return.
“Charles Yeo did not return to Singapore on Jul 30 and he did not report to the investigation officer on Aug 1,” said SPF, adding that Yeo's bailer informed the police that he did not return to Singapore on Jul 30 and was uncontactable.
“Following the report, police attempted to contact Charles Yeo on Aug 1 but to no avail. As Charles Yeo had breached the conditions for the court’s approval of his overseas travel, the police issued a police gazette for Charles Yeo’s arrest.”
Yeo was part of the Reform Party team that contested in Ang Mo Kio GRC in the 2020 General Election, against a five-member team led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
He stepped down as chairman of the party following his arrest in January.