News

Detention extended till next month

S'porean businessman on Interpol's list held in Batam

The detention period of the Singaporean businessman on Interpol's list was extended yesterday, until Jan 11 next year.

Mr Lim Yong Nam, 40, is now detained at the police headquarters for the Riau Archipelago in Nongsa, at the north-eastern part of Batam island.

He was arrested at the Batam Centre ferry terminal on Oct 23, shortly after he arrived on the Indonesian island to attend a trade exhibition.

He is on the Interpol list as he is wanted by the US. Mr Lim had allegedly breached a US trade embargo against Iran.

His Indonesia-based lawyer, Mr Suwardi, told The New Paper that Mr Lim is in good health and is well-treated by the Indonesian police officers.

He is being accused by US authorities of participating in a scheme to unlawfully ship 6,000 radio frequency modules from Minnesota, US, to Singapore with false statements.

They claimed that Mr Lim managed to convince the US companies that the end users of the devices were in Singapore, when he knew that they were being shipped to Iran.

US authorities also claimed that in 2008 and 2009, at least 16 of the modules he purchased were recovered by coalition forces in Iraq, and used in improvised explosive devices.

Mr Lim was first arrested in Singapore in 2011.

A magistrate at the then-Subordinate Courts ordered by his extradition to the US in February 2012, but he challenged the ruling. The charges against him were dismissed by the Singapore High Court on Aug 7 that year.

But his joy is apparently short-lived with his current predicament.

Mr Lim's Singaporean lawyer Sahid Ramadian said that the Indonesian police are able to extend his detention there indefinitely.

He said: "We are trying to expedite the process but it is a very complicated and long one."

Responding to queries from TNP, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it has been in touch with the relevant Indonesian authorities to seek updates on Mr Lim's case.

Its spokesman added: "The ministry has expressed concerns about Mr Lim's prolonged detention and requested that (his) case be processed expeditiously.

The ministry has also requested that Mr Lim be accorded all his due legal rights and privileges under Indonesian law."

The spokesman said that the Singapore Government cannot intervene in Indonesia's judicial process.