July 16, 2008

Charged: Man with obscene films in monk's condo

MONK'S CONDO HOME: Ming Yi sometimes stayed at The Cornwall. His former aide was caught there with obscene films. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

A FOURTH man charged yesterday appeared to have nothing to do with the financial affairs of Ren Ci Hospital.

Pang Leong Chuan, 27, was charged with having 138 obscene and uncertified films.

He used to be the former personal assistant of monk Ming Yi, and was caught with most of the illegal films in an upscale apartment where the monk sometimes stayed.

Ming Yi is one of five listed owners of the apartment in The Cornwall, a condominium off Holland Road. Checks showed that the other owners included the Foo Hai Ch'an Monastery, where Ming Yi was the abbot.

Monastery staff were said to live in the fourth-floor unit, valued at about $2 million. Pang is believed to have lived there too.

Commercial Affairs Department officers confiscated 95 films at the apartment on Feb18, and another 43 from Pang's listed address in Tampines.

A resident said three men, including Ming Yi, lived there. Others said they had seen him returning at night in a car with two men.

Pang, a university student, was the monk's personal executive for more than a year.

No one was at his Tampines flat when The Straits Times checked yesterday. He is believed to have lived with his mother, though he was seldom home.

He faces six charges - four for possessing obscene films and two for having films uncertified for screening - and may be fined and jailed if found guilty.

He has engaged a lawyer.