The 57-year-old former church fund manager was due to start his 3 year and 4 months jail term tomorrow after being convicted of misusing church funds.
Chew was arrested along with his 53-year-old boatman buddy, Tan Poh Teck, at 8.47am on board the motorised sampan, and charged with “Attempting to leave Singapore unlawfully at Unauthorised Point of Departure” under Chapter 133 of the Immigration Act.
When questioned, he reportedly told police coast guard officers they were fishing, but officers noticed that they weren’t doing anything on the boat, which was stacked with S$5000 in cash and fishing equipment.
Police say they had received information earlier that Chew was trying to flee Singapore and head to Pulau Ubin, then Malaysia.
Chew’s brother, Chew Eng Soon, has also been arrested for abetting the offence.
Chew had been granted some leeway by the Court and allowed to defer the start of his jail term to after Chinese New Year, while the rest of his City Harvest Gang of Frauds started their jail terms immediately upon sentencing.
The father-of-two, currently detained in a Police Cantonment Complex lock-up with his boatman buddy, due to surrender to the State Courts tomorrow.
But, he will instead instead be charged with this fresh offence, and will likely lose his bail bond sum which is estimate to be between S$750,000 and S$1 million.