Jailed for handling stolen money

Jailed for handling stolen money

A full-time national serviceman who received stolen money and transferred it to overseas accounts was jailed for six months yesterday.

Muhammad Aznan Abdul Aziz, 24, who faced 65 charges involving about $30,000, pleaded guilty to five counts each of dishonestly receiving $11,700 and transferring a total of $13,070 to two Nigerians last year.

A district court heard that in April last year, he met an online user called "Zoe Tay" through social networking site Tegged.

When he told her over Skype that he was having financial difficulties, she offered him a job as "an agent" in her phone business.

Azman agreed to help her and take on the role of a middleman. He gave her his bank account details and, on April 15 last year, started receiving money.

"Zoe Tay" would alert Aznan when funds were transferred into his account.

He would then transfer the money to an account in Nigeria through MoneyGram, a money transfer service. On most occasions he would visit a MoneyGram outlet to remit the funds.

Aznan received a commission of 10 per cent for every transaction he made and would e-mail the remittance receipts to "Zoe Tay".

During this entire time, Aznan had reason to believe that he was participating in something illegal, the court heard.

Investigations showed that he made a total of $2,255, which was surrendered to the police.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga highlighted aggravating factors when he urged the court to impose at least six months on Aznan.

He said Aznan profited from his involvement and played an important role in the scam.

A stern stance should be taken against such offences given a rise in such scams recently, he added.

Aznan could have been jailed for up to five years and fined for receiving stolen property. The maximum penalty for transferring property which represents benefits from criminal conduct is a $500,000 fine and seven years in prison.


This article was first published on September 02, 2014.
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