Megachurch leader Chew Eng Han tries escape by sea

Chew Eng Han

Singapore Police said a man convicted in a megachurch fraud case was caught while trying to escape by sea before starting his Prison sentence.

Chew Eng Han, a Singaporean, was found in a small boat heading towards Malaysia, a before he was to turn himself in after exhausting the appeals process, Police say.

The church leader and the second man in the boat say they were on a fishing expedition.

Chew and five others were convicted of misappropriating millions of gotten from a City Harvest Church in 2015.

The Investment Committee member of the church, Chew, was sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment.

After loosing his final challenge in court, the 50-year-old was to begin his jail term on 22 February, after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Preliminary investigations suggested that Chew and the other man in the boat were attempting to flee Singapore illegally, a police statement said.

The men were carrying items such as a fishing gear, S$5,000 ($3,800; £2,700) in cash and three mobile phones.

The megachurch scandal was the biggest corruption case Singapore had handled in years.

The pop music career of the church pastor’s wife, Sun Ho, was promoted with S$50m ($35m; £23) of the money.

However, the defendants had argued Ms Ho’s pop music career was a way of reaching out to non-Christians.

Sun Ho herself was not accused of any wrongdoing. She and her husband Kong Hee founded the church in 1989.

The church group is one of the country’s wealthiest churches with an estimated, 30,000 members in Singapore and 48 affiliates in countries like Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Brunei and Australia.


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