SINGAPORE – Sentencing for the first man who had admitted to his role in OCBC phishing scams involving about $12.8 million has been adjourned to next Tuesday (July 5) after he said he was unwell and has been issued a medical certificate.

Leong Jun Xian, 21, who pleaded guilty on April 20 to a charge under the Organised Crime Act as well as two counts each of dealing with the benefits of criminal conduct and rioting, was initially expected to be sentenced on Thursday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua, however, noted that Leong’s MC did not excuse him from attending court proceedings.

On Thursday, defence lawyer Audrey Koo said that Leong, who is now out on bail of $45,000, had told her on Wednesday night that he had been hospitalised.

She told District Judge Kessler Soh that her client’s bailor also told her that Leong had a high fever.

DPP Chua then replied that there was no mention in the documents tendered whether the offender has been tested for Covid-19.

After hearing both sides, Judge Soh said he was prepared to give Leong the benefit of the doubt and adjourned the sentencing to next week.

In earlier proceedings, the court heard that Leong had been assessed to be unsuitable to be given probation for his offences.

He was, instead, recommended to undergo reformative training.

DPP Lee Wei Liang did not disclose the reasons behind the recommendation that Leong be given such a sentence.

Offenders given reformative training will be detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that can include foot drills and counselling.

Leong and six other young people were charged in February over their alleged involvement in the scams. Their cases are pending.

They include Brayden Cheng Ming Yan, 19, Jovan Soh Jun Yan, 20, Muhammad Khairuddin Eskandariah, 20, and Lim Kai Ze, 21.

Two others cannot be named as they were below the age of 18 when they allegedly committed some offences.