Singapore

Man on trial for kidnapping Sheng Siong boss' mum

Sales executive Lee Sze Yong, 44, who allegedly hatched the plan to kidnap the mother of Sheng Siong supermarket boss Lim Hock Chee in 2014, went on trial yesterday in the High Court.

His accomplice, Heng Chen Boon, 51, was sentenced to three years' jail last year after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of helping Lee abduct Madam Ng Lye Poh.

He was released from prison earlier this year and is lined up to testify as a prosecution witness.

Lee still faces the kidnapping charge. If convicted, he faces the death penalty or life imprisonment with caning.


ON TRIAL: Lee Sze Yong faces a kidnapping charge. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO FILE

He allegedly abducted Madam Ng at Hougang Avenue 2 on Jan 8, 2014, with the intent to hold her for a ransom of $20 million.

Madam Ng's son testified in court that he did not initially think that the call from Lee informing him his mother had been kidnapped was genuine.

"I thought it was not real, because there were many telephone scams at the time," Mr Lim said.

The Sheng Siong boss managed to negotiate the $20m demanded down to $2 million.


Sheng Siong supermarket boss Lim Hock Chee. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

He said Lee did not want to wait until the next day for him to raise $20 million, as the diabetic Madam Ng was due for an insulin jab.

"I knew she needed (an injection) and wanted her to go home," Lee said in a statement to the police after his arrest.

Lee claimed he was $200,000 in debt and was "very stressed" when he hatched the scheme.

He had approached Madam Ng and lied that her son had suffered a fall in the office and that he would take her to see him.

She got into Lee's car and was blindfolded.

The then 79-year-old was freed unhurt after her son dropped off the $2 million ransom at Sembawang Park.

It was Singapore's first kidnap-for-ransom case in over a decade.

Madam Ng, now 81, is also expected to testify.

- The Straits Times

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