Man linked to $10.2m COVID-19 scam has fever, to be charged later

Wan Ting Koh
·2-min read
Surgical masks.
Surgical masks. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A 40-year-old Singaporean man due to be charged on Wednesday (24 February) over his involvement in a $10.2 million COVID-19 scam was absent from court with fever.

Thye Wee Boon has been linked to money laundering offences concerning a case of an overseas pharmaceutical company which was allegedly defrauded of €6.636 million (S$10.2 million) for the purchase of surgical masks and hand sanitisers. After the firm transferred the funds to a local bank, the supplier became uncontactable and the items were not delivered.

At the State Courts on Wednesday, Thye's lawyer Thong Chee Kun told the judge that his client's temperature was above 38°C in the morning. He then went to Changi General Hospital, where he was given a medical certificate until Friday for the symptoms of fever and sore throat. He was also required to take a swab test to test for COVID-19.

Thye's next hearing date was fixed for 3 March. According to the court system, he will face 18 charges under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act and a charge under the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Singapore Police Force said in a media release on Tuesday that it was alerted to the case in mid-March last year. Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established Thye’s identity as the man who received the monies, and arrested him on 25 March last year.

Thye had reasonable grounds to believe that the funds were criminal proceeds when he received them. He also allegedly used, transferred and removed part of the funds from Singapore, according to the police.

Money laundering carries a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both,

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