Bail order for ex-tour guide struck down

Bail order for ex-tour guide struck down

Yang Yin will have to stay in remand for at least another three weeks, after an order granting the former China tour guide bail was struck down yesterday.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon decided that the 40-year-old was a flight risk, given that he had "few, if any roots" here, and that he had not been upfront with the court about a $500,000 transfer from a 87-year-old wealthy widow's account here to his father's in China.

Yang, who was first charged on Oct 31, now faces 331 counts of falsifying receipts, which made it seem that his company, Young Dance and Music Studio, had received $450,000 in payment for services such as piano lessons.

The prosecution believes that no actual work was done through the firm, and that Yang simply used it to earn an Employment Pass, and subsequently permanent residency here.

Since 2009, he had been living with widow Chung Khin Chun at her $30 million Gerald Crescent bungalow. The woman's niece, Hedy Mok, has accused Yang of manipulating her aunt into giving him control of her assets and is suing him.

On Thursday, District Judge Eddy Tham granted Yang bail of $150,000, but the decision was challenged by the Attorney-General's Chambers.

During yesterday's 30-minute High Court hearing, Yang, who wore purple overalls, was straining to listen to the Mandarin interpreter as Chief Justice Menon explained why it was "not appropriate" to grant bail.

The Chief Justice pointed out that when the prosecution told the court last week that it was investigating where a "suspicious" transfer of $500,000 out of Madam Chung's account had gone, Yang failed to mention that on the same day, it landed in his father's account.

In the absence of any explanation for the transfer, it appears that Yang has the means to "live comfortably" if he were to abscond, the Chief Justice added.

He was also of the view that the district judge had erred by failing to take into sufficient account that the $150,000 for the bail was also going to be provided by Yang's family in China. That meant that his Singapore guarantors would stand to lose nothing financially if Yang decided to run.

The district judge also did not attach enough weight to the fact that the offences involved are non-bailable ones. That means Yang has to convince the court that bail should be awarded.

The case will be mentioned again on Dec 4, by which time the prosecution, led by Deputy Chief Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee, hopes to finish its investigations, which include analysis of the suspect's handwriting.

After bail was revoked, Yang's lawyer, Wee Pan Lee, said: "At the end of the day, the (prosecution) tried its best, I tried my best."

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg


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