P.M. BRIEFING : Billionaire Faces Funds Charge

From Times wire services

Reclusive billionaire Kwek Hong Png, rated one of the world's richest men by Forbes magazine, appeared today in a Singapore court charged with criminal breach of trust involving misappropriation of funds.

Kwek, 78, stood in the dock looking weak and tired as a judge set trial for Aug. 20.

Kwek, who emigrated from China in 1928 to set up a multibillion-dollar conglomerate here, offered no plea on charges of abetting his nephew, Quek Leng Chye, in the misappropriation of $42,146 from a real estate company, Tripartite Developers.

Quek, 45, a Tripartite director, is also charged with Kwek, the founder of flourishing Hong Leong Group of companies, with criminal breach of trust involving Tripartite's funds.

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