Former National Kidney Foundation (NKF) chairman Richard Yong, who and his wife were arrested by Hong Kong police on Wednesday, will not contest extradition proceedings and could be back to Singapore within weeks.
Yong, 65, a declared bankrupt who has been on the run for more than seven weeks after he left the country illegally, said he would "consent to return" to Singapore, through his lawyer when he appeared briefly in the Eastern Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong yesterday.
Another hearing was set for July 11, when proceedings for his voluntary return - known as a "consent committal proceedings will be initiated, The Straits Times reported today.
Once the extradition has been signed by Hong Kong Chief executive Donald Tsang, Yong will be repatriated to Singapore.
He and his wife, On Shu Kio, are being remanded at Hong Kong's Lai Chi Kok Correctional Institute. Madam On is expected to appear in court this morning and she could be sent back to Singapore to face charges if there is evidence that she had helped Yong flee or assisted him in concealing his assets.
Both were picked up on Wednesday morning by Hong Kong police in the southern part of Hong Kong. A significant amount of cash is believed to have been seized from the pair, according to The Business Times today.
Yong, together with ex-NKF board members Loo Say San and Matilda Chua, as well as former NKF Chief T.T. Durai, owe NKF some $12 million in all after they lost a civil suit against them. He was declared a bankrupt on May 16. Hours later, he slipped out of Singapore with his wife, without permission from the Official Assignee, which is an offence under the Bankruptcy Act. He could be jailed up to two years and fined up to $10,000 if found guilty.
His flight from Singapore prompted a warrant of arrest to be issued against him last month. A Mareva injunction was also slapped on him when NKF's lawyers found that he had disposed of his assets.
Yong now stands to face fresh criminal charges on his return to Singapore, which may include disposing of and transferring his assets which he is not allowed to for a period of five years prior to the date of the bankruptcy order.