'Money mule' jailed for 68 months

'Money mule' jailed for 68 months

SINGAPORE - An unemployed woman who was caught in a money-laundering scam, involving $1.5 million, was jailed for 68 months yesterday.

Jorah Fairuzyanni Abdullah, 31, admitted to nine charges of dishonestly receiving stolen money, transferring property which represented her benefits from criminal conduct, removing the stolen funds to Malaysia, and moving more than $30,000 without declaring it to an authorised officer. The amount involved in these charges was $641,950.

Another 16 charges were taken into consideration during her sentencing.

A district court heard that Fairuzyanni's friend introduced her to five Nigerians in Malaysia some time in August 2012.

Over the next few days, she bonded with them over drinks at clubs.

She subsequently opened three bank accounts in Singapore for the group.

After that, she began to receive money in her bank accounts on behalf of the Nigerians, from individuals and companies that she did not know or did not have dealings with.

She would withdraw the money and pass it to her friend. The two of them would take a cab to Malaysia to meet the Nigerian group to club and have a good time.

Fairuzyanni had suspected the money was from illegal sources and could possibly have been linked to drug dealing, but she still went ahead to receive it.

She also failed to report the movement of the funds to an authorised officer at the Customs red channel at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

The court also heard that she acted as a "second-layer money mule" for the group, and collected money from a "first-layer money mule" who had received stolen money in his bank accounts.

In one case, after her accomplice had received stolen funds of $94,811 in his POSB account, he withdrew $90,000 and passed it to Fairuzyanni. She then passed the money to the Nigerian group in Malaysia.

She received a total commission of $11,000 from the group. Police managed to seize $140,000 from her.

Her sentence was backdated to Nov 27 last year.


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