SINGAPORE - City Harvest Church (CHC) was desperate to unravel an $11.5 million bond issue from The First National Glassware (Firna) to Xtron Productions because of a threat from an anonymous person to reveal the various transactions the church was involved in, the court heard on Thursday.
An e-mail from Indonesian businessman and CHC member Wahju Hanafi to his wife on March 26, 2010, said: “CHC has some serious issue from an anonymous px (person) who wrote in and threatened to open up all our connection with Xtron and Sun (Ho’s music) project, etc, so now they want to find quick cash to pay us so I can pay back AMAC’s bond issued to FNG (Firna).”
Mr Hanafi clarified to the court he meant the bond issue from his company Firna to Xtron, and not a bond issue from AMAC to Firna. In the agreed statement of facts between the prosecution and defence, it is stated that Xtron transferred $11.455 million to Firna on Dec 1, 2009, pursuant to a bond subscription agreement dated that same day between the two entities.
It is the prosecution’s case that this was a sham bond issue, forming part of an elaborate round-tripping scheme undertaken by CHC pastor Kong Hee, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng (Tan YP), former board member Chew Eng Han, former board member and former finance manager Serina Wee, board member John Lam and finance manager Sharon Tan.
All six are on trial for allegedly channelling the church’s building funds into Kong’s wife Sun Ho’s music career.
Mr Hanafi testified on Thursday that “they” who wanted to “find quick cash” were Chew, Wee, the two Xtron directors Choong Kar Weng and Koh Siow Ngea, and possibly Tan YP. DPP Tan told the court he believed the threat from the anonymous person prompted the sudden need to find cash to pay Mr Hanafi, so that he could redeem the bonds.