What price human dignity or safety?

In Political governance on 03/04/2012 at 5:58 am

(Or “It’s official: cheating is “bigger” crime than brutal assault”)

I tot of these headlines last Saturday as I read that a High Court judge allowed a $400,000 bail set by the lower court for each of the three directors of Profitable Plots to be reduced. He ordered bail for two amg moh FTs – John Andrew Nordmann,  and Timothy Nicholas Goldring – to be cut to $200,000 each, while Singaporean Geraldine Anthony Thomas, Nordmann’s wife, had her bail reduced to $150,000.

All three were still at Singapore Changi Prison, where they have been remanded since they were each charged in the Subordinate Courts with 86 criminal counts of abetment for conspiracy to defraud investors of US$2.42 million on investments related to an industrial lubricant called Boron early last week. They are trying to raise funds to post bail, it is understood.

The defendants’ lawyer had asked for bail to be reduced to $15,000 each because the three had not absconded and had abided by bail conditions during investigations. But the deputy public prosecutor  disagreed, rightly, saying that the situation is different now that the three are charged in court. The three pose as flight risks given the size of the losses and that they, if convicted, may be jailed for up to 10 years per charge.

One can only wonder why the authorities placed such a low value of around $12,000 bail, I believe, per ang moh FT, in the case of the ang moh FTs who brutally beat up several S’poreans at Suntec City in 2010. It was set so low, that two of them tot it smarter to run away and forfeit their money, when they were allowed to travel overseas.

Why the discrepancy between the dollar value of a crime and its consequences on human dignity or safety is what the Home Affairs minister and DPM should be asking the relevant people in Home Team and other relevant agencies.  The minister had said in parly in March,”If there were any lapses or negligence, the police will take appropriate disciplinary action against the officers involved. We expect the internal inquiry to be completed next month.” Hopefully, he would now ask them to explain why the authorities placed such a low value on human dignity and life. But pigs would fly first, I suspect.

This is S’pore and money talks. Remember the MP who said that he could only respect those earning serious money?  Dr Lim was reported by the Chinese press in 2011 as having said:“If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister’s ideas and proposals, hence a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity.”

True he finally apologised saying, “Dignity cannot be and must not be measured purely in monetary terms”. But boy did he twist and turn before he decided to apologise.

No I’m not exaggerating. Minister Teo was asked about the assessment of foreigners for flight risk, the measures taken to prevent such foreigners from absconding and the criteria applied in the assessment of whether extradition proceedings against such foreigners who have fled jurisdiction will be commenced. In reply, he said that there is a standard set of procedures for the handling of accused persons, whatever their nationality, from arrest, to investigation, to charging them in court, and to police bail (Emphasis added).

Better to beat up a S’porean by bashing his head against a pillar, than cheat a S’porean of his money is my understanding of the way the two cases were handled and the minister’s words seem to confirm that my interpretation is reasonable. BTW, he tried to deflect blame from Home Team and the other authorities saying that the court had the final say in deciding bail. Err who makes the request in the first place, minister?

  1. High bail force them to bring some money back into the country which can be used to compensate their victims if they are found guilty. Tracking the source of the bail fund might also reveal where the money has,been moved to. They made over S$ 50m from one land banking site so they are not poor . When the CAD started to investigate they tried to move all their funds offshore. if they are found guilty I hope they get jail time.

    • I hope you realise that they have not been charged with anything connected with landbanking. Hence if their lawyers ask for yr IP address to sue you for defamation, I will feel free to supply it.

  2. They need to have some bail guidelines. Otherwise it is arbitrary and subject to abuse, especially when it is politics related.

  3. Temasek should hire them. They are foreign talents. Can bring in the money can liao.

  4. There’s always this feeling of double standard… singapore law.

  5. How is that defamation? I stand by my words. If the Directors of Profitable Plots are found guilty of cheating I hope they feel the full force of the law including financial and custodial penalties. If they are found not guilty of cheating then presumably they can hold their heads high and continue to freely trade and offer land banking and oil investment products to Singaporeans.

    However i will correct the land banking profit as potentially it could have been less than £50m

    Concorde village was bought by Profitable Plots for £1.3M and advertised as 9000+ plots for between £5,200 and £8,000 per plot. That would equate to a gross margin of between £45m and £70m on a single site. They were offering 4 sites in Singapore in addition to the lubricant investments .

  6. Heard another 4 weeks extension requested by CAD after 20 months of investigation ??? need more times ??? there must be strong evidence before any action can be taken to close down business operation, isnt it ? charged in the Subordinate Courts with 86 criminal counts of abetment for conspiracy to defraud investors of US$2.42 million on investments related to an industrial lubricant called Boron, shouldnt there be strong evidence ?? Dont sound like Singapore Government ? Dont understand why must take so long to find out legally endorsed philippian land sale document and UK land title document ?? and even warehouse in singapore storing boron products ?? uh ?? even then there should be 86 ”victims” to testify the case in court, isnt it ?? cant help to think that CAD is buying time to find something else ?? May be should write to minister or PM to ask whats going on ? 20 long months ???

  7. As one of the PP victims, I say they should be behind bars for at least 10 years each.

    BTW, what’s happening now? Since end March I’ve heard nothing, no news, no progress in the matter. Don’t tell me the prosecution has decided to drop all charges?

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