Man charged with helping ex-church leader's escape bid

A Malaysian man was charged yesterday with abetting Chew Eng Han to leave Singapore just before the former City Harvest Church leader was to start his jail sentence.

Tan Kim Ho, 42, was earlier arrested in Malaysia based on a warrant of arrest issued by the Singapore State Courts, the Singapore Police Force said on Sunday. Tan was handed over to Singapore police on Saturday.

Chew was nabbed on board a motorised sampan on Feb 21 with a boatman. He had about $5,000 and fishing equipment. He was charged on Feb 22 with leaving for Malaysia from a Pulau Ubin jetty, which is not an authorised point of departure.

On March 1, he began serving his jail term of three years and four months for his role in the misuse of millions in church funds.

Two other men - Malaysian freelance driver Khoo Kea Leng, 45, and boatman Tan Poh Teck, 53 - were also arrested for allegedly helping Chew.

Khoo was sentenced to six months' jail last Thursday after he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy with Chew to help him leave Singapore from an unauthorised point of departure.

The pre-trial conference for the cases involving Chew and Tan Poh Teck will be held on May 3. - GRACIA LEE