SINGAPORE (The Blaze/AP) -- Authorities have arrested the founder of one of Singapore's largest evangelical churches and alleged millions of dollars in church money was used to aid the career of his pop singer wife.
The Singapore Police Force said it plans to charge City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee on Wednesday with conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust. The police statement Tuesday said four other church leaders would be charged with breach of trust and conspiracy to commit falsification of accounts.
The Straits Times has more about the allegations and the impending charges:
City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee and four others, including former board members, were arrested on Tuesday morning following a probe into financial irregularities of the church by both the police and the Commissioner of Charities (CoC).
Among other things, the CoC found financial irregularities of at least $23 million from the church funds. Its spokesman said the funds were used with the purported intention to finance the wife of pastor Kong, Ms Ho Yeow Sun's secular music career to connect with people.
'There was a concerted effort to conceal this movement of funds from its stakeholders,' said the CoC spokesman.
In a statement, the police named the five: church founder Kong Hee, his deputy, Mr Tan Ye Peng, former board member, John Lam Leng Hung, church investment manager Chew Eng Han, and church finance manager Sharon Tan Shao Yuen.
The church also addressed the issue on its web site, asking parishioners to pray for those involved and reiterating the fact that no legal complaint has been brought against City Harvest as a congregation:
The Charities Commissioner said at least $23 million Singapore dollars (US$18 million) of church money instead financed the music career of Kong's wife. Ho Yeow Sun has put out a few Mandarin pop albums.
The charities statement did not give details. City Harvest says up to 23,000 people attend its services.