Murder in Spain: Cops probing origins of note on loan, CPF nomination on Audrey Fang’s iPad


Audrey Fang was found dead with 30 stab wounds and other injuries in south-eastern Spain on April 10 while she was on a solo trip. - FANG DIROU/FACEBOOK

MADRID: Police investigating the death of Singaporean Audrey Fang are looking into the origins of a note left on her tablet that appears to justify a change in her Central Provident Fund (CPF) nomination to a “trusted confidant”.

The nomination is for a payout from her CPF savings in the event of her death.

The note also granted the unknown beneficiary a “friendly loan of US$50,000 (S$68,000) based on our friendship in the past”, separate from the CPF nomination.

Spanish media outlet La Verdad de Murcia reported on April 28 that the Civil Guard, one of two national police forces, was examining the note written on the 39-year-old’s iPad on March 24.

ALSO READ: Body of Singaporean killed in Spain arrives home; family discovers she bought insurance from suspect

“I want to declare that my decision to name you in my CPF is because you have been a friend for a long time and my trusted confidant,” read the note.

The newspaper said the message “raises as many questions as it answers”.

Fang was found dead with 30 stab wounds and other injuries near a parking area for lorries in the town of Abanilla in south-eastern Spain on April 10 while she was on a solo trip.

Mitchell Ong, 43, who is suspected of murder, was remanded in custody by a court in Murcia on April 19 after his arrest on April 16 in Alicante, about 70km from where her body was found.

ALSO READ: Murder in Spain: Singaporean suspect was self-proclaimed financial ‘expert’ involved in multiple businesses

Spanish police showed the note to Fang’s brother, Benjamin, who expressed his doubts over its authenticity.

For one thing, the writer used the word “Heya”, which is a greeting usually used by people who speak English fluently, which Fang did not as she spoke mainly in Mandarin, said Benjamin.

The victim’s brother also said the note referred to a loan of US$50,000, which is not in Singapore currency. Fang’s cousin, who was in Spain with Benjamin, told police they knew nothing of the supposed loan and change in CPF nomination.

The Straits Times reported earlier that Benjamin had travelled there with his girlfriend, Lee Si Hui, 30, and Fang’s cousin, who wanted to be known only as See.

They left for Spain on April 17 after Fang became uncontactable on April 10. She was due to return to Singapore on April 12.

La Verdad, which did not name the cousin, quoted her as saying that Fang’s trip was arranged at the eleventh hour. To her family, it seemed strange because she was due for a trip to Japan on April 27.

The cousin said that Fang did not have a boyfriend as far as she knew, but was on the Tinder dating app.

“I told her that this was not good,” the cousin added.

Fang spoke to her family for the last time on April 9, a day before her body was found on a patch of open ground.

Ong has declined to comment since his arrest, but La Verdad reported that when he appeared in court before a judge, he said he was a “good person”.

He was arrested in his room at the Eurostars Lucentum hotel in Alicante on April 16. It was earlier reported that he was found with Fang’s mobile phone and €3,760 (S$5,480) and $1,000 in different currencies.

The court earlier heard that when Ong left his hotel on April 9, closed-circuit television footage showed him wearing a hooded sweatshirt and black trousers.

Fang was last seen alive that same day leaving her hotel in Xabia, about 150km away from where her body was found.

When he returned to the hotel at 2.06am, he was wearing jeans and a blue sweater.

On April 13, he told hotel staff he would be receiving a visit from his Ukrainian girlfriend.

Police said he told the staff to alert him when they saw her because she had €5,000 with her. Later, he broke down and told staff at the hotel reception that his girlfriend had left him and was returning to Ukraine.

Ong also showed them messages between him and his girlfriend on Telegram, and images on Instagram to allegedly show off his ostentatious lifestyle.

Manuel Martinez, the Spanish lawyer representing Fang’s family, told La Verdad: “At the moment, the family is still looking for answers to this macabre crime.”

He said her family is also checking in Singapore to understand the relationship Fang had with her alleged killer.

The lawyer added that the family may seek an international commission so that her friends can testify.

Prosecutors will seek a prison sentence of between 20 and 25 years for Ong if he is convicted, added Martinez.

“We don’t understand how two people who were staying in Xabia and Alicante would end up in a place so inhospitable as Abanilla, if it was not with the purpose so the victim had no way of defending herself,” he told La Verdad. - The Straits Times/ANN

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