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COC defers removal proceedings of City Harvest church leaders – Yahoo! Singapore News

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COC defers removal proceedings of City Harvest church leaders – Yahoo! Singapore News

After receiving requests to do so, the Commissioner of Charities (COC) on Thursday has deferred removal proceedings of eight City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders from their positions in the Singapore megachurch until after the trial against six of them.
CHC founder Kong Hee and four others, who are standing trial for alleged misappropriation of church funds, as well as Kelvin Teo Meng How and Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline, promised to avoid taking up management and executive roles, and to remain suspended from their initially-held posts.

Ex-CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han left the church near the end of June but submitted representations to the charity watchdog ahead of its deadline.

Earlier this year, the COC indicated its plans to commence removal proceedings against the eight, but decided against removing Kong’s wife and recording artist Ho Yeow Sun, as it was unable to find sufficient evidence pointing to her involvement in alleged financial mischief.
Removal from their positions means that the eight leaders would have their executive memberships in City Harvest terminated, and they would be banned from resuming their memberships for at least two years.

Chew, Kong, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng, Sharon Tan and Serina Wee are accused of criminal breach of trust, as they allegedly misused at least $ 24 million of church building funds to finance Ho’s music career.

Chew, Tan Ye Peng, Sharon Tan and Wee also allegedly diverted about $ 26.6 million to cover up the alleged initial “sham” transactions. Their trial resumes this month.
Meanwhile, aside from deciding to defer removal proceedings, the COC also ordered the church to provide regular updates on its key activities and financial position for monitoring.
“As the necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the property of the (church) remains protected, the COC has agreed to the requests for a deferment… until after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings,” the COC said in a statement.

It, however, again stressed that regulatory action is undertaken independently and separately from the ongoing criminal proceedings against the six standing trial.

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