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Elder brother of Chew Eng Han released on police bail

SINGAPORE — Mr Chew Eng Soon, the elder brother of convicted City Harvest Church (CHC) leader Chew Eng Han, has been released on police bail after he was arrested earlier this week in connection with his sibling's attempt to flee Singapore illegally.

Elder brother of Chew Eng Han released on police bail

TODAY file photo of ex City Harvest Church fund manager Chew Eng Han.

SINGAPORE — Mr Chew Eng Soon, the elder brother of convicted City Harvest Church (CHC) leader Chew Eng Han, has been released on police bail after he was arrested earlier this week in connection with his sibling's attempt to flee Singapore illegally.

The elder Mr Chew, 61, could not be detained for more than 48 hours without being charged in court, the police said on Friday (Feb 23). He was arrested at about 3.40pm on Wednesday, a few hours after his 57-year-old brother was caught by the Police Coast Guard while attempting to leave Singapore with a boatman at about 8.47am.

When intercepted, the younger Chew claimed that he was out on a fishing trip, TODAY understands. He was charged in court on Thursday for attempting to leave Singapore from Pulau Ubin jetty, an unauthorised point of departure, without reasonable cause.

If convicted, Chew could be jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$2,000. He had earlier been sentenced to three years and four months in jail for criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts in connection with the CHC case, and was due to start his jail term on Thursday.

The boatman, Tan Poh Teck, 53, who owns a fish farm off Pulau Ubin, was similarly charged on Thursday, with abetment under the Immigration Act. He allegedly tried to help Chew escape to Malaysia.

When asked about Chew's case on Thursday, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said the authorities will be tightening provisions and conditions for posting bail. Jumping bail will also be made an offence under proposed wide-ranging changes to the Criminal Procedure Code, he added.

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