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Man tried to help Envy Global director linked to S$1b nickel trading fraud flee Singapore, gets jail

Man tried to help Envy Global director linked to S$1b nickel trading fraud flee Singapore, gets jail

Ang Siew Wah at the State Courts on June 7, 2022. (Photo: TODAY/Nuria Ling)

SINGAPORE: A man who conspired unsuccessfully to help a company director at the centre of a billion-dollar nickel investment fraud case flee Singapore was sentenced to jail on Friday (Jan 28).

Alvin Oey Weizhong, 37, was given 11 months' jail and fined S$20,000.

He pleaded guilty to a charge each of conspiring to assist Ng Yu Zhi in leaving Singapore illegally and assisting in distributing money from illegal gambling. Another two charges were considered in sentencing.

Ng, a former director of Envy Global Trading and Envy Asset Management, was charged on Mar 22 last year with criminal offences involving fraudulent investment schemes related to nickel trading.

He is still being investigated by the police for offences such as cheating, criminal breach of trust by a director and knowingly being a party to the carrying on of a business with fraudulent intent.

While investigations were ongoing, Oey and two acquaintances - 32-year-old Keeren Marcus Phang Guan Wei and 63-year-old Ding Kuon Chwo - conspired to help Ng escape.

Sometime in April 2021, Phang heard rumours about an "Envy car shop boss" who intended to abscond from Singapore after running into trouble with the law. A hefty financial reward was purportedly being offered to facilitate this.

Suspecting this person to be Ng, Phang called Oey to check if he was able to help someone leave Singapore illegally and go to Malaysia. He offered Oey a reward of S$50,000 to S$100,000.

Oey took up the offer. He called Ding in April 2021 and instructed him to find a way to transport a person out of Singapore to Malaysia illegally.

About two weeks later, Oey found out that Ng was the person they were helping to flee Singapore. He also learnt about Ng's criminal case.

A few days after this, Ding told Oey that he had managed to find someone to do the job. A person known as Ah Seng suggested transporting the person by boat from Singapore to Batam, and later from Batam to Malaysia.

Oey updated Phang about the plans, but Phang said he was having trouble contacting Ng and would get back once he was able to do so.

The plan did not go through after Phang was unable to contact Ng. Oey also asked another man to try and get in touch with Ng, but the attempts were unsuccessful.

Additionally, Oey admitted to collecting and handling money staked by others in illegal 4D betting. He worked as an agent for a person known only as Ah Keong.

The prosecutor asked for 11 months' jail and a fine of S$20,000, saying that the charges against Ng were very serious ones, involving "staggering sums of money".

Ng now faces 75 charges in all, involving S$116.5 million and US$63.3 million (S$86 million).

At the time of Oey's conspiracy, Ng had been charged with cheating two investors of a total of S$36.7 million and US$9 million, and Oey would have known that Ng was facing serious charges.

Phang had also told Oey that Ng's criminal case was in the news, and the potential harm caused would be high if Ng had successfully absconded.

Oey's offending was premeditated and persistent, said the prosecutor. When Oey did not hear from Phang, he went further to find his own ways to contact Ng.

"The extent of the accused's premeditation is further demonstrated by the elaborate plan devised by the accused," said the prosecutor.

"The accused and co-accused persons had devised a plan to illegally transport Ng by boat to Malaysia through Indonesia. The accused had also taken concrete steps in furtherance of the conspiracy."

For conspiring to do an act to obstruct the course of justice, Oey could have been jailed up to seven years, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(gs)


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