Female money mule gets jail

Female money mule gets jail

Though she was unemployed, her bank accounts reflected large sums of money wired from abroad.

From Sept 12, 2012, to Jan 3 last year, Jorah Fairuzyanni Abdullah, 31, received and was involved in the transfer of illegally received cash totalling $1.5 million.

Yesterday, she was sentenced to a total of 68 months' jail for her role in the elaborate money-laundering scam.

The prosecution proceeded with nine of the 25 charges, which included receiving stolen property, transferring stolen property and failing to report the movement of Singapore currency overseas.

The amount connected to Jorah's nine charges was estimated at $641,950.

Jorah first got entangled in the money-mule scheme when she was introduced by a friend to five Nigerians in August 2012. They met in Malaysia and became friends while clubbing.

One of the Nigerians then asked if Jorah could open bank accounts in Singapore for him.


She was initially suspicious of the request, thinking the money could be from illegal sources or drugs. Yet she complied by opening three accounts with separate banks.

The largest wire transfer of $365,956 into her POSB bank account occurred on Sept 19, 2012.

Two days later, Jorah withdrew $365,950 and carried the money in a taxi past the Woodlands Checkpoint to Malaysia, where she handed the cash to the Nigerian group.

By doing so, Jorah had broken the law by failing to make a "cross border cash reporting regime" to the Singapore authorities.

Court papers revealed that the money belonged to Mr Joseph Mckean, a customer of Frontier States Bank in the US.

An employee of the bank received an e-mail on Sept 14, 2012 from someone purporting to be Mr Mckean, giving instructions to perform an international wire transfer to the accused's POSB account.

The bank later established that it had been cheated as Mr Mckean had not authorised the transfer to Jorah's account.

On other occasions, she acted as a second-layer money mule, receiving money from first-layer money mules that she then passed on to the Nigerian group.

For instance, another money mule received stolen money of $94,811 from a bank account in the British Virgin Islands on Oct 17, 2012.

The accomplice withdrew $90,000 and handed it to Jorah, who carried it to the Nigerians in Malaysia via the Woodlands Checkpoint.

Even after she was arrested on Nov 7, 2012, she continued her illegal activities by recruiting two accomplices to receive and pass stolen money to the Nigerians in Malaysia.

Court documents showed Jorah was given a total commission of $11,000 by the Nigerians for her role as a money mule.

The Commercial Affairs Department managed to recover $140,000.


This article was first published on Sep 23, 2014.
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