Singapore City Harvest megachurch leader Chew Eng Han 'tries to flee by sea'
February 22, 2018 4:21 pm
A Singaporean man convicted in a megachurch fraud case was caught trying to escape by sea before starting his prison sentence, police say.
Chew Eng Han was found in a small boat heading towards Malaysia, police say, a day before he was to turn himself in after exhausting the appeals process.
He and a second man in the boat say they were on a fishing expedition.
Chew and five others were convicted of misappropriating millions of dollars from the City Harvest Church in 2015.
nvestment committee member Chew was sentenced to three years and four months. After losing his final challenge, the 57-year-old was due to begin his jail term on 22 February, after the Lunar New Year holiday.
A police statement said that preliminary investigations suggested Chew and the other man in the boat were “attempting to depart Singapore illegally,” said a police statement.
As well as fishing gear, the men were carrying S$5,000 ($3,800; £2,700) in cash and three mobile phones.
The scandal was the biggest corruption case Singapore had seen in years.
Much of the S$50m ($35m; £23m) was used to promote the pop music career of the church pastor’s wife, Sun Ho.