Tussle over widow's $40m assets turns ugly

Tussle over widow's $40m assets turns ugly

SINGAPORE - A seven-hour stand-off between an 87-year-old Singaporean widow and a 34-year-old woman from China ended yesterday after the younger woman agreed to leave the widow's $30 million bungalow, where she had stayed for a year without rent.

It was the latest twist in a saga that began in 2008, after the widow, retired physiotherapist Chung Khin Chun, met the Chinese woman's tour guide husband while on holiday in China.

The 40-year-old man, Mr Yang Yin, later got close to Madam Chung and, in 2009, moved into her Gerald Crescent bungalow, allegedly took over her assets worth $40 million and brought his family to live with him there.

Madam Chung's niece, 60-year-old travel agency owner Hedy Mok, started court proceedings to revoke Mr Yang's guardianship of her aunt's $40 million assets earlier this year.

She turned up at the bungalow yesterday at 2pm to demand that his wife, two-year-old son and eight-year-daughter move out because they were trespassing. Mr Yang is currently in Japan.

Mrs Yang initially refused. The police were called and five officers later turned up to defuse the tension.

Mrs Yang later agreed to leave the house on the advice of her lawyer. She told The Straits Times before leaving that Madam Chung had invited her husband to live with her.

"My husband has looked after the old grandmother for five years," said Mrs Yang.

But in an affidavit last month, Madam Mok said: "The defendant now has sole authority and control over my aunt's assets and personal welfare, leaving my aunt in a vulnerable situation. I deeply fear for my aunt's safety and well-being as the defendant has shown that he has neglected her welfare and is merely manipulating her for his own benefit."

Court papers allege that Mr Yang started asking for money to be sent to his bank account in Hangzhou, China, starting from small sums of $4,000, which grew over time to $40,000.

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