SINGAPORE, Nov 17 — He was not granted bail in September so Wang Baosen returned to court via video-link for a bail review where he was once again denied bail on account of him being a high flight risk.
Wang is among 10 suspects involved in one of Singapore’s largest money laundering cases who were not granted bail.
So far, other suspects such as Vang Shuiming, Su Wenqiang, Su Haijin, Wang Dehai, Lin Baoying, Zhang Ruijin and Su Jianfeng have been denied bail. They are accused of being involved in laundering the proceeds of crime from their alleged overseas organised crime activities, including scams and online gambling.
Wang Baosen, a 31-year-old citizen from China, faces a charge of possessing S$112,000, 4,600 yuan (S$866.50) and US$10 (S$13.50) in cash as benefits of criminal conduct, and one charge of possessing a Toyota Alphard Hybrid Elegance car that represented benefits from criminal conduct.
Before his bail review yesterday, Wang had discharged his lawyers Adrian Wee and Lynette Chang. He is now represented by defence counsel Favian Kang.
During the review hearing, Kang brought up the substantive affidavit filed by his client that “in itself” contained the material change in circumstances and new facts that would support the bid for bail to be granted.
This included documentary evidence of his two daughters’ school application, a letter of offer to Wang’s niece who was applying to study in Singapore, and a summary from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority about his mother’s application to enter Singapore on a social visit pass.
Kang did not disclose which school Wang’s daughters applied to enrol or who issued the letter of offer to Wang’s niece. The social visit pass is for a short-term stay applied in October.
“It does not make sense for his extended family to be coming here to enrol in school or for his mother to move here if he has intentions to run away. Likewise, it would not make sense for his two young daughters to register for school,” Kang said.
The lawyer also touched on how anyone trying to run away could be easily traced by the public and the police, given that Singapore has 90,000 or more police cameras that are monitored.
“When he goes back to his residence, his neighbours will know. There will be concerned members of public and there will be tip-offs,” Kang added.
In a response to the defence’s submission, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Foo Shihao urged the court to reject the bail application, arguing that this second effort was a “thinly disguised attempt” at bail even though there were no new facts.
Wang’s affidavit did refer to some new events, but it did not show any new facts or circumstances that could be relied upon for granting bail, he argued.
DPP Foo brought up a point in the affidavit: The defence stated that Wang ”mistakenly” told investigation officers that his daughters were not his biological children to put them out of harm’s way and this showed his love for his children.
“This is not an accurate characterisation of the situation as the accused stated in his affidavit that it was out of panic and fear that his daughters would be deported,” DPP Foo added.
“This is an attempt to lie to the Commercial Affairs Department to ensure that his children get to stay in Singapore, which speaks to the character of the accused and his willingness to lie to the authorities.”
DPP Foo also argued that the application by Wang’s extended family members to enter Singapore did not support Kang’s argument for bail since the mother and niece’s extension of visit passes was not granted.
In delivering his decision to deny bail for Wang, District Judge Terence Tay said that having considered both parties’ arguments, he found that there was no material change in circumstances that justified a different outcome.
“The defence counsel overstated the accused’s affidavit in relation to new circumstances or fresh facts, and it is disingenuous for the accused to introduce them in a drib-and-drab fashion,” he said.
And on the defence’s example of Wang’s neighbours being alert to his movements, the judge said he was reluctant to take an entitled view that even when there is a high flight risk, the entire Singapore Police Force or the public of Singapore will ensure that Wang will not abscond.
Wang is set to return to court for a pre-trial conference on December 22. — TODAY