Joint intel led to arrest of S’pore fugitive lawyer, say police

Singapore lawyer Jeffrey Ong. (Facebook pic.)

PETALING JAYA: Close intelligence work between Singapore and Malaysia led to the arrest of Jeffrey Ong, a Singapore lawyer who allegedly went missing with more than S$33 million (RM100 million) of his clients’ money, police said.

Ong was arrested at a hotel in Cheras on May 29 and repatriated the next day.

Acting Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said Ong surrendered when a team of CCID men went to his room.

“He gave his cooperation,” Saiful told FMT.

He said the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore police had sought assistance from the Malaysian police to apprehend Ong on May 28.

The police obtained a warrant of arrest for Ong to be endorsed by a Malaysian court the next morning.

“A few hours later, just after lunch time, Ong was arrested,” he said, adding that the lawyer was placed in a lock-up for the night.

Saiful said the Singapore police took Ong back on May 30.

“We managed to arrest the suspect because of the close intelligence work between both countries,” he said.

In a statement, the Singapore police said a report was lodged on May 21 against Ong in relation to an alleged misappropriation of S$33 million from an escrow account held by the law firm.

Ong was charged in the Singapore district court on June 1 with one count of cheating and has been remanded for further investigations.

It was reported that Ong had gone missing after engineering firm Allied Technologies said on May 23 in a Singapore Exchange (SGX) filing that it was making a police report.

This was after it was told by JLC Advisors — the law firm holding its escrow account — that S$33.4 million from the account may have been paid out under Ong’s instruction.

According to the charge sheet, Ong had on Feb 19 deceived a company, CCJ Investments, into believing that another entity, Suite Development, had entered into a loan agreement with it.

He is also alleged to have dishonestly induced CCJ Investments to disburse a sum of S$6 million.

Some S$3.3 million was then used to refinance Suite Development’s mortgage loan and about S$2.7 million was deposited into the client account of JLC Advisors.

The maximum sentence for cheating is 10 years’ jail and a fine.