Mrs Light n Friends provided this insightful report to what Chew Eng Han said in court on Tuesday morning, the 27th of January, 2015:
27 Jan 2015 – Eng Han EIC (AM Session)
On 26 January 2015 (PM session), Eng Han gave his evidences on the following topics:
1. The relationship between Xtron and City Harvest Church,
2. Control over Xtron and Crossover,
3. Xtron Bonds,
4. Riverwalk Deal
5. Firna bonds
Today, before Eng Han moved on to another topic – Who Controls Bond Drawdown, he said: “Your Honour, when it comes to the bonds, Firna bonds or Xtron bonds, there were many things that happened along the way which I never anticipated from the beginning, from the inception of the bonds. When challenges arose, all I did was to put my financial cap on and think of ways, legal and proper ways, to get round those problems. I was never in any conspiracy to hide the bonds. I was never in a condition where I knew from inception that the bonds were sham, and that there was no way that money would come back in from the album.”
Just to recap, the following topics were covered in court today:
1. Who controls bond drawdown (AM session)
2. Inception and appointment of AMAC (AM session)
3. Controls, operational process between AMAC and CHC (AM session)
4. Risk taking and risk Management (AM session)
5. Roland Poon Saga (AM session)
6. Sun’s success: True or False? (PM session)
7. Chew’s trust in Kong Hee, Sun Ho’s honour and integrity (PM session)
8. Control of bond proceeds: Who held discretion and spent the money? (PM session)
Topic – Who Controls bond drawdown?
EH showed some emails of who is in-control of the bonds.
The first email exhibit (E-759) was Serina Wee telling Eng Han the amount of bonds that needed to be drawn down.
Chew said, “This is reflective of my role as far as Firna bonds is concerned. I think of a way for the church to fund the Crossover privately in a discreet manner, low profile, something that’s not too risky. I’m given the big amount, $13m, or $11m. I get Christina to draft it. Once the documents are read, I tell Serina or Kong Hee, “It’s ready for drawdown”.”
From there on, your Honour, the instructions come from Kong Hee or Tan Ye Peng or Serina Wee as to when and how much to draw down.
The next email exhibit (E-760) on second page was Serina Wee wrote to Tan Ye Peng.
Do note that I planned to drawdown date 2 weeks before Justin actually needs the money as CHC funds are super tight as well. I am getting Wahju to sign all the bond certs today so there will be no future delay on his part.
So Serina Wee’s role is to ensure the funds get to Justin at the right time, not too early and not too late. She lays down a table of the amount of bonds that needs to be draw down in the table below,
|Interest Start Accruing From||Principal Value|
|7 October 2008||It shows the amount to be drawn||Highlighted in yellow are already draw down|
|5 November 2008|
|10 December 2008|
|15 May 2009|
Basically, TYP and Serina Wee do the planning as to the quantum and the timing of the bonds drawndown.
Page 1 of the email, Serina Wee wrote to Sharon Tan and Eng Han.
Below is the drawdown schedule for Firna bonds I emailed you last week.
We need up to $4m drawn down by 15 June. Please advise if this is possible.
The reason why Serina Wee writes to Sharn Tan and myself, when she says she needs $4million is again because she needs to confirm that does CHC have $4m in the first place. Because that $4m could be in one of several places: it could be in the DBS account, operating account of CHC; it could be in the Deutsche Bank account, where I manage a portfolio, where there could be some cash or bonds or shares that can be sold to raise cash. And this is where Sharon and myself have a role to play, because Serina Wee has no idea on the availability of funds that CHC has.
On the email above this email, Eng Han wrote:
Sharon how much cash do we have in Deutsche and CHC? Please give me the figure before deducting this $4m needed for Firna.Serina, this $4m includes that $2m which you wanted last month but hasn’t paid out correct?
Serina Wee replied
Eng Han testified that his role was to clarify the exact amounts and to clarify, with Serina. He has no idea HOW the $4m and $2m or whatever amount is going to be spent.
Chew: “So, really, my role was to coordinate the availability of funds, and, bearing in mind, even if there are funds available, are they available for because there is a Crossover Project as well. And some of these funds need to be reserved for a property which I have been searching for many years.”
Mr Chew read the next email dated 4 August 2009 (Exhibit E-761) in court. At the bottom of this email, Serina Wee wrote:
Hi Pst Tan & Eng Han,
Wahju just informed me that there is around S$500,000 to a million that he can release from UBS account. There is still around US$2m with Justin at the moment. Do you want Wahju to send it to Justin or send this money temporarily to AMAC bank account to be later sent to Justin when he needs more funds?
This was a time when Wahju had cashflow problems. And, as the Firna bond proceeds were being released from Firna to UA, there were some monies that were supposed to go to Crossover but got stuck in Ultimate Assets, because Wahju Hanafi had some trading positions on Russian bonds, and he was trading the bonds on leveraging, meaning that on a certain amount of cash he was trading many times the amount of cash he putting it into Russian bonds, and there was margin calls on his Russian bonds, because, besides the bond market, the Russian market was collapsing at the time because of the Subprime crisis.
The reason why Serina Wee and myself are thinking rather than park the money with Wahju, park it with AMAC, is because we don’t want the money to get stuck in UA again.
Serina Wee replied
Eng Han said, “So, really, this money, what to do with it, in the end comes from Tan Ye Peng. The instruction comes from him. Our job, really, myself especially, is to ensure that funds don’t get stuck, that there’s minimal risk.
Your Honour in the cross-examination of Sharon Tan by the public prosecutor on 23 September 2014. During that time, the prosecutor was referring to E-147 and the public prosecutor put it to Sharon Tan that the drawndown of bonds was controlled by Kong Hee and Tan Ye Peng, and depend on the album launch and she agreed with it.
So, your Honour, I’ll just keep this section short, because I think the evidence is quite clear as to who controls the bonds drawdown.
Topic – Inception and appointment of AMAC.
The prosecution has been alluding to this theory, that AMAC was nothing more than a vehicle being set up to achieve the objectives of the conspiracy, to hide bonds, to structure bond, to use sham bonds, to use sham bonds to channel monies to Sun’s career.
Chew: “Your Honour, even before the bonds idea was conceived, in June or July 2007, I’d already incorporated AMAC Capital Partners, in April 2007. I set it up while I was still working at State Street Bank, because, as Kong Hee said I think to John Lam, it was my dream to leave a well-paying job and to take the risk to start my own business, to manage funds, because that was my passion.”
On 26 August 2014 during cross-examination of Kong Hee, the DPP said:
Eng Han opened an exhibit to show a list of all the portfolio statements from Deutsche Bank, from August 2007 till April 2008. This is about the same time that Xtron bonds were being issued and drawn down.
The total holding as of 31 Aug 2007 was $19,925,613. (Includes all the bonds, all the equities, including the Xtron bonds.)
Chew: “Your Honour, over all those months, from August 2007 to April 2008, the average percentage of Xtron bonds over the total portfolio is only 32.03%. This is far from the 70% bond limit that was mentioned by John Lam as an investment com in an email E-651. There was no need to use AMAC as a sham to channel monies. I would still have gone ahead to structure the Xtron and Firna bonds for Kong Hee and his team.”
Chew referred to another email exhibit wrote by Serina Wee to Kong Hee on 6 Jul 07, before the bonds were being issued.
At item number 4, Serina Wee wrote to Kong Hee,
Chew: “So, your Honour, this is a correct reflection of my intention by Kong Hee and Serina Wee and John. I didn’t set up AMAC to be a vehicle for monies to be illegallible channelled from City Harvest to Xtron or to Firna. It was my dream. It was coincidental that, at that time, the Crossover needed monies as well. And, as stated in the email, I do not make a lot from managing money for CHC. I was charging 0.1% of the total assets under management, which is a far cry from the market standards of 0.5 to 1%.
So I was not doing it as part of a conspiracy, neither was I doing it for personal gain. I was doing it as a ministry.”
Next court exhibit was the EGM held on 7 July 2007, where AMAC and Eng Han himself was appointed as the fund manager for CHC, and this was something that was disclosed to the executive members.
Eng Han read some of the announcements made by Kong Hee at the EGM.
Kong told the EMs, “We need somebody that is able to maintain flexibility, confidentiality and is flexible at the same time.”
Chew: “And more than just flexibility, Kong Hee was pressing on confidentiality. I worked with Kong Hee for many, many years. I fought for him during the Roland Poon crisis. At this point, in 2007, I understood what he meant by “confidentiality”, I understand it. Whatever AMAC invests in, keep it hush-hush, But I didn’t understand that to be an instruction from a co-conspirator. I understood it to be from a senior pastor who had gone through too much with the public, and he deserved a break.”
Chew: “……Your Honour, in the financial market, as a professional fund manager, we do have a duty of confidentiality. For example, If GIC manages the reserves of the country, and these monies belongs to the public, but GIC is appointed by government officials, GIC owes a duty to the government officials to only reveal what the people appointing them agree to. Although the monies belongs to the public, GIC will be in breach of its confidentiality requirements if any of the fund manager goes out to the public and tells them what they invest in on the premise that because the monies belongs to the public, they would have breached their duty. And the same goes for me and for AMAC: if the people appoint me as fund manager, tell me that they want confidentiality, I have to abide by that. Only when Kong Hee or the board says, “You can reveal this and that”, then I will say it. Other than that, I am bound by my professional requirements, not to even tell the EMs that AMAC has Xtron bonds or into Firna bonds. And if I keep it from the EMs, it’s not because I know the bonds are illegal and I want to keep it from them; it’s because I believe that these bonds were good, we did it for a pure motive, it was an undercover missions of the church, we know that whatever goes, whatever is being said in church has a strong possibility of going out to the public. Because CHC, your Honour, is a very widely watched church; it makes news. Anything that we do gets into the internet, into the news. We have seen that with many examples Roland Poon and Suntec.”
…….. Chew continues ………
I did go to Tan Ye Peng and ask him, “Why don’t we just hold a EGM explain to the EMs, you know they support us, you understand the Crossover, it’s the missions of the church. Tell the EMs that church has brought Xtron bonds to fund Sun’s Crossover. Tan Ye Peng declined and didn’t really give me an answer why. But I took it as his wisdom. He is my deputy senior pastor. Kong Hee is my senior pastor. When they say “no”, me, as a spiritual disciple, as well as fund manager, will have to defer to them, to their wisdom and their authority.
But if I have a choice, I would have disclosed. ……. But for the sake of privacy and for the sake of preserving the project, which I understood to be the motive, I went along with it. Further down that same paragraph (Refers to the minutes of EGM held on 7 July 2007)
“So, we want to be a Nehemiah, before we go into our -– before we build the walls, Nehemiah kept quiet, go around the place, and sometimes, you know, you just got to be wise in the way you do things.”
And the word is “wise”, your Honour. I take this as spiritual wisdom. I didn’t take this as part of a conspiracy. If you are in a conspiracy, you cannot call yourself “wise”.
Source: 27 Jan 2015 – Eng Han EIC (AM Session), Mrs Light n Friends, http://mrslightnfriends.com/27-jan-2015-eng-han-eic-morning-session, Published 27/01/2015. (Accessed 29/01/2015.)