A Singaporean billionaire who made headlines in 2020 for attempting to purchase an English Premier League football team but who fled Singapore weeks later amid suspicions of accounting irregularities has been apprehended in China.
Saturday marked the return to Singapore of Novena Global Healthcare Group (HGHG) director Nelson Loh Ne-Loon and a business employee.
Loh and his 43-year-old colleague Wong Soon Yuh were both detained on the same day.
Monday in court, they were charged with two charges of forgery, according to a police statement.
Along with his cousin Terence Loh and their Chinese business partner Evangeline Shen, Loh led the Bellagraph Nova Group.
The business sought to purchase Newcastle United for £280 million (about $337.7 million) in August 2020, but reports of distorted pictures in its marketing materials began to surface.
Prior to it, nothing was known about Bellagraph Nova Group, although the company claimed to have 31 corporate “entities” globally, a 2019 group revenue of $12 billion, and 23,000 workers.
Early in 2021, Nelson Loh was declared bankrupt, according to reports.
The police announced on Monday that Loh and Wong, a Singaporean who worked closely with him, allegedly faked certified financial records for NGHG in 2019 and used them to get S$18 million in bank loans.
Previously, it was revealed that Novena Global Healthcare and Novena Life Sciences failed to file their annual returns by their respective due dates of July 29, 2018 and December 9, 2019, respectively.
A few days after the two departed Singapore in early September 2020, the police got a complaint that some of NHGH’s financial records included allegedly faked Ernst & Young signatures.
They were then given arrest warrants and Interpol Red Notices, which are requests to law enforcement authorities worldwide to find and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or equivalent legal action.
The two guys were subsequently apprehended by Chinese officials and returned to Singapore on December 24, when the Commercial Affairs Department arrested them.
Its director, David Chew, stated, “The police will do everything is necessary and legal to apprehend and deport anyone sheltering overseas so they may face punishment in Singapore.”
He praised the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for its assistance in “bringing back to Singapore these two persons.”