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Former City Harvest Church (CHC) fund manager Chew Eng Han was caught at sea yesterday (Feb 21) morning trying to leave Singapore by boat.
The 57-year-old married father of two was due to begin his jail term of three years and four months from today (Feb 22) for misusing church funds.
Chew was arrested along with another man, Tan Poh Teck, 53, at 8.47am on board a motorised sampan, the police said in a briefing yesterday afternoon at the Loyang Police Coast Guard Base.
Tan was piloting the sampan.
The Straits Times understands that preliminary investigations revealed that, when questioned, Chew and Tan claimed that they had been fishing.
Based on information received earlier, police established that the two men were trying to leave Singapore illegally from Pulau Ubin to Malaysia.
They were also not doing anything on the boat to indicate that they were fishing.
Chew was found with about $5,000 in cash and fishing equipment.
Both men were arrested for "Attempting to leave Singapore unlawfully at Unauthorised Point of Departure" under the Immigration Act (Chapter 133).
Those found guilty of this offence could face a maximum fine of $2,000 or a maximum jail term of six months, or both.
At about 3.40pm on Wednesday, the police also arrested a Chew Eng Soon, 61, for abetting the offence. Those convicted of abetting an offence can face a maximum fine of $6,000 and a maximum jail term of two years.
The Straits Times understands that the two Chews are brothers.
He was ordered to surrender to the State Courts on Thursday (Feb 22).
Unlike in the United States and Britain, the act of absconding is not a separate criminal offence in Singapore, say lawyers.
However, when an accused person jumps bail, the bail money will be usually forfeited unless the bailor is able to convince the court otherwise.
Read the full story at The Straits Times.