MAN IMPRISONED AFTER HE FAKED HIS OWN DEATH WHILE ON APPEAL AGAINST MISAPPROPRIATION CONVICTION

On 4 May 2017, Ng Kek Wee, the former director of Singalab International Private Limited (Singalab International), was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment under section 406 of the Penal Code for misappropriating 3 million shares from a subsidiary of Singalab International.

Ng Kek Wee appealed against his conviction and sentence. He was released on bail while his case was pending hearing before the Court of Appeal, and granted permission by the State Courts to travel to China for work purposes. After his appeal hearing had been fixed for 15 March 2019, the State Courts directed Ng Kek Wee's counsel to upload a copy of the accused's flight itinerary into the State Court's Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) as proof of his intent to return to Singapore.

Ng Kek Wee's counsel duly uploaded the flight itinerary provided to them by Ng Kek Wee into the ICMS. However, unbeknownst to the counsel, the flight itinerary was actually forged, and provided false information that Ng Kek Wee's return flight from China would make a stopover at Jakarta, Indonesia before arriving in Singapore on 13 March 2019.

As part of his plan to fake his death, Ng Kek Wee also travelled to Indonesia and obtained a forged death certificate stating that he had passed away on 10 March 2019 near Jakarta, Indonesia. He then persuaded someone in Indonesia to email the forged death certificate to his counsel, who presented it during a Magistrate's Appeal before Judge of Appeal Tay Yong Kwang on 15 March 2019. The stopover in Jakarta, as stated in the forged flight itinerary, was meant to lend credence to the forged death certificate.

The Commercial Affairs Department carried out checks to confirm Ng Kek Wee's death. It was found that Ng Kek Wee had in fact travelled to Malaysia on several occasions after 10 March 2019. He was arrested with the assistance of the Royal Malaysian Police on 13 August 2019 and was brought back to Singapore to face his charges.

On 17 February 2020, the accused pleaded guilty to the following offences:

a. Abetted the provision of false information to a public servant, which is an offence punishable under Section 177 read with Section 109 and 108B of the Penal Code;

b. Abetted the fabrication of false evidence in a judicial proceeding, which is an offence punishable under Section 193 of the Penal Code, read with Sections 109 and 108B of the Penal Code; and

c. Knowingly and without reasonable excuse, failed to attend court on 15 March 2019, which is an offence under Section 103(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In addition to his earlier sentence for criminal breach of trust, Ng Kek Wee was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for the above offences.

Source: Singapore Police Force