CPIB Iswaran probe: Ong Beng Seng back in S’pore after being allowed to travel to Bali while on bail , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

CPIB Iswaran probe: Ong Beng Seng back in S’pore after being allowed to travel to Bali while on bail

Tycoon Ong Beng Seng returned to Singapore from Bali on a private jet on Monday afternoon, after being allowed to travel overseas while on bail over his role in a corruption probe.

The plane landed at Seletar Airport at about 5.15pm.

Mr Ong, who was dressed in a polo shirt, jeans and sandals, was ushered into a black Audi sedan, which then sped off at around 5.30pm. He was accompanied by his wife Christina Ong when he boarded the car.

Airport security personnel did not allow reporters to get close to the Seletar Business Aviation Centre, where Mr Ong was seen emerging from, saying there was a private event going on.

Mr Ong left for Bali on July 14.

News broke on July 14 that he and Transport Minister S. Iswaran had been arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on July 11 over a case the anti-graft body had uncovered.

CPIB did not give details on the nature of the probe.

Both men were released on bail and Mr Iswaran has had his passport impounded.

Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange on July 14 that no charges have been filed against Mr Ong, 77, who is the founder and managing director of the company.

HPL, which owns brands such as the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, added that Mr Ong is cooperating with the CPIB to provide information in relation to his interactions with Mr Iswaran.

The company also said that Mr Ong was travelling from July 14 after he posted bail of $100,000 and would be surrendering his passport to CPIB when he returned to Singapore.

Mr Ong Beng Seng’s wife Christina Ong (in white top) exiting the VIP section of Seletar Airport on July 17, 2023. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Mr Iswaran, 61, was instructed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to take a leave of absence until the investigation was completed, the Prime Minister’s Office said on July 12.

He will remain in Singapore during this period and will have no access to any official resources and government buildings.

Mr Ong is known as the man who brought Formula One to Singapore. He is chairman of Singapore GP, which organises the F1 night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit annually.

In the mid-2000s, Mr Iswaran, as then junior trade minister, and Mr Ong, convinced then-Formula One Group chief executive Bernie Ecclestone to make Singapore the venue for the sport’s first night race, starting in 2008.

Mr Iswaran reportedly knew Mr Ong from his previous career as a bureaucrat and top executive at state investor Temasek Holdings.