SINGAPORE — Four of the 10 accused in the billion-dollar money laundering case made a second plea on Wednesday (Oct 18) to be released on bail, but their requests were denied again.
They failed in their first attempt in August over concerns of them possibly colluding with other individuals involved in the case.
The ongoing case involves assets worth S$2.8 billion, including luxury watches, handbags, cars and properties.
The Cambodian national’s defence counsel Mark Tan had previously sought for Chen to be released on bail, telling the court that there is a “low chance of him reoffending”, but bail was denied by the presiding judge at the time.
Chen, 33, who is facing four charges, appeared in court through video link where he formally appointed a new defence counsel after discharging Mr Tan.
Chen’s new lawyer, Mr Gary Low, asked to postpone the bail review to a later date as he came on board only two weeks ago.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Foo Shi Hao agreed to the request.
Chen was not offered bail and will return to court on Nov 17 for his bail review.
The 34-year-old Cypriot national faces two charges and was earlier denied bail as the prosecution stated that there would be a real risk of evidence getting destroyed through collusion or contamination.
His defence counsel Megan Chia argued on Wednesday that even though Wang was known to hold several passports, he has remained rooted in Singapore for the last five years.
“All his passports are with the police and there is no way he can leave Singapore,” she said.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Edwin Soh disagreed, saying that Wang “has the means to obtain another passport and abscond”.
Wang is also wanted in China for his remote gambling activities in the country.
He had admitted that he fled from Chinese authorities to avoid a suspended sentence, which included suspension to his liberties and required periodic reporting to the relevant authorities.
District Judge Terence Tay agreed that no bail should be offered, saying that given the charges Wang is facing in Singapore, there would be even more reason for him to abscond.
Wang is set to return to court on Nov 3 for a pre-trial conference.
The only woman who was arrested for her alleged involvement in the money laundering activities faces two counts of forgery and a charge for perverting the course of justice.
Assets that were seized from the 43-year-old are reported to be worth around S$200 million.
Lin’s new defence counsel, Mr Chew Kei-Jin, said that Lin has made links to Singapore, pointing out that her 15-year-old daughter is currently enrolled in a Singapore school.
But Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Tan said that during the four years that Lin has been here, she acquired at least two new foreign citizenships — a Cambodian citizenship in 2021 and a Turkish citizenship this year.
He said that this makes Lin, who is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident, a flight risk.
DPP Tan also said that Lin’s ability to pay a fee to acquire passports from countries she has never been to means that she can procure new passports through similar methods.
The judge said that the passports demonstrate Lin’s ability to flee, which would not impact her daughter who is staying separately with a domestic helper in Singapore.
As such, no bail was offered.
Lin is set to return to court on Nov 17 for a pre-trial conference.
Zhang, 44, who was arrested on Aug 15 along with co-accused Lin Baoying at a Sentosa Cove bungalow, faces three counts of forgery.
On Wednesday, defence counsel Loo Choon Chiaw said that Zhang is not prepared to lose his more than S$110 million seized assets by absconding and would remain to contest his charges.
In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Tan argued that Lin’s overseas wealth could be made available to Zhang if he absconded because he is intending to start a family with her.
He also reminded the court that Zhang has an unaccounted for China passport which is still valid.
Delivering his decision, the judge said that no bail is offered as Zhang has little roots in Singapore.
Zhang is set to return to court on Nov 17 for a pre-trial conference.
The 35-year-old Vanuatu national, who faces four charges, is linked to one of eight fugitives who fled Singapore and are currently on the run.
Defence counsel N Sreenivasan, who represented Su, argued that the charges his client is facing are “woefully inadequate” as they did not specify where and how he had allegedly committed the offences.
The lawyer proposed bail conditions which include Su remaining in a designated place of residence where he is subjected to 24 hours surveillance and ankle tagging to monitor his whereabouts.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Edwin Soh disagreed that bail should be granted.
“Su is a high flight risk. He is a foreigner with no roots in Singapore,” he said. “He also has substantial overseas assets that he can live comfortably off if he absconds.”
In denying bail for Su, the judge said that the charges are not objectionable as investigations are still ongoing.
Su is set to return to court on Nov 3 for a pre-trial conference.