City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee & 16 others under funds probe

The founder of megachurch City Harvest Church and 16 other individuals and staff involved in the handling of the church's financial affairs are being investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD). 

Police confirmed last night (31 May) that Reverend Kong Hee and the 16 are assisting in an on-going investigation, which arose from complaints made to the Commissioner of Charities (COC) on the misuse of church funds. 

CAD officers visited various premises, including the homes and offices of the individuals involved on Monday morning (31 May). 

They secured items such as financial records and computers for the purpose of investigation. 

As for how long the investigation will take, police have given the assurance that while it will be thorough, it will be without undue delay. 

On Monday afternoon, the COC and CAD said in a joint statement that they are investigating some financial transactions involving several individuals and companies related or connected to the Church. 

The COC has received complaints of misuse of church funds and informed the CAD. 

The CAD had assessed that it may need to investigate some of these financial transactions. 

They have assured that despite the ongoing investigations, normal services and religious activities of the City Harvest Church need not be disrupted and can continue for its congregation. 

This not the first time City Harvest Church has made headlines. 

Earlier in March, eyebrows were raised over its 310-million-dollar stake in Suntec City Convention Centre and the COC was called in to investigate. 

But COC said in a statement to MediaCorp that this round of investigations is not related to the earlier Suntec case. 

This latest development brings Singapore's charities sector back into the limelight. 

Several charities have hit the headlines in recent years including high-profile ones like the National Kidney Foundation and Ren Ci. 

The NKF saga in 2005 had led to a revision of the Charities Act, which gave the charities watchdog more teeth.