Dickson Yeo who was jailed in the US for spying for China returns to Singapore, arrested by ISD
SINGAPORE: Dickson Yeo, a Singaporean who recruited US officials to provide classified political and defence information to China has been arrested after returning to Singapore on Wednesday (Dec 30), said the Internal Security Department (ISD).
"Mr Dickson Yeo has returned to Singapore on Wednesday, 30 December 2020 and was arrested by ISD under the Internal Security Act on the same day," the ISD said.
Yeo will be interviewed by the ISD to establish if he had engaged in activities prejudicial to Singapore’s security, the agency said.
In keeping with COVID-19 safety measures, ISD told CNA that Yeo was "subject to appropriate measures in line with prevailing border control requirements upon his arrival in Singapore".
"Precautionary measures were taken during the arrest process to safeguard the health of personnel involved.
"He is currently in ISD's custody and precautionary measures are in place to ensure early detection, infection control and safe distancing in the facility in which he is being held," said an ISD spokesperson in response to CNA's queries.
Yeo had admitted in the US federal court to have worked for the Chinese intelligence for monetary rewards. He has also revealed to US investigators that his previous intelligence work targeted other states apart from the US.
He was sentenced to 14 months in prison by a US court on Oct 9.
Yeo was given a relatively light sentence and credited for 11 months already spent in prison because of his cooperation with US authorities and also the threat of contracting COVID-19 in jail, said Washington federal judge Tanya Chutkan at the time.
Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Jul 26 said it was informed by US authorities of Yeo's arrest in November last year.
MHA added that investigations did not reveal any direct threat to Singapore's security.
"Singapore will not allow our nationals to be subverted or used by any foreign actors for activities prejudicial to our security and national interests," the ISD said on Wednesday.
"The Government takes a very serious view of any Singaporean who enters into a clandestine relationship with a foreign government and engages in espionage or subversive activities at the behest of the foreign power.
"We will deal firmly with such individuals in accordance with our laws."