Saturday, June 30, 2012

Corruption of Hundreds of Billions of Church Money, Famous Priest Arrested by Police

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SINGAPORE- A famous pastor founding one of Singapore's richest churches and four of his colleagues have been arrested on charges of corrupting at least 11,500,000 Euros (- + Rp. 136 Billion) in donations from a congregation of more than 30,000 people.

Father Kong Hee and four other senior executives, Father Tan Ye Peng, John Lam, Chew Eng Han and Sharon Tan from City Harvest Church - a Christian group registered as a charity - were arrested by the Singapore Department of Commercial Affairs, a police unit set up to fight crime finance.

Officials said they were suspected of transferring at least $ 23 million in Singapore allocated to charity projects and spending the money to finance the evangelical music career of pastor Kong Hee's wife, Ho Yeow Sun, in the United States.

The church, which has affiliations in neighboring Malaysia and other countries, is famous for services that resemble pop concerts.

The five, who are outside on bail, have also been suspended from their positions in the church.

Father Kong and his wife, whose whereabouts are now unknown, became a small celebrity in Singapore for launching a church, which authorities estimated had a congregation of around 33,000 and net assets of 103,000,000 Singapore dollars (- + Rp. 760 billion) in 2009.

In a post on Twitter social networking on Tuesday morning, Kong tweeted a Bible Psalm in Mandarin saying God would protect him from evil.

Authorities began an investigation in 2010 after receiving complaints about alleged misuse of the funds, the Department of Community, Youth and Sports Development, which oversees charitable institutions, said in a press release.

The five will be indicted in court on Wednesday and if found guilty, each can face a life sentence and fines.

Ket: Pastor Kong Hee

IWD/The Truth Seeker Media

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