Woman gets jail for transferring stolen cash

Woman gets jail for transferring stolen cash

An administrative officer was jailed for eight months yesterday for dishonestly receiving stolen funds and transferring them.

Aslinda Othman, 43, who had faced seven charges, admitted receiving $94,254 in her HSBC account, having reason to believe the amount to be stolen property, on Sept 11 last year.

Two days later, she transferred $50,000, which represented her benefits from criminal conduct, to Keoagile Letshabo's CIMB Bank account.

A district court heard that she came to know an online character named Walter Samuel through Tagged, an online social website. She had never met him before.

On Feb 1 last year, she opened the HSBC account and began helping Samuel receive and transfer funds on at least two occasions. She also received and transferred funds for Samuel using her United Overseas Bank account.

When $10,000 was credited into her UOB account in May last year, she received a recall notice from the bank due to "payment error". She later informed the bank that she was not agreeable to the recall of funds.

Despite not checking with Samuel on the transfer of the $10,000 nor if he had sent it, Aslinda continued to help him receive and transfer funds.

The court heard that she received $1,000 from Samuel for her help in relation to a transaction which took place in July that same year.

On Sept 11 last year, she received the $94,254 through her HSBC account, and had reason to believe that it was stolen property.

Two days later, she sent $50,000 of that sum via telegraphic transfer to Letshabo's CIMB account.

District Judge Low Wee Ping agreed with defence counsel Ferlin Jayatissa that Aslinda's culpability was on a lower level than one who knew that the property was stolen and went on to manage it.

"I understand that such offences have been somewhat prevalent, and the authorities have been trying all their best to deter Singaporeans from participating in these sophisticated offences," he said.

Five other charges were taken into consideration during her sentencing. The total amount of loss was about $150,000.

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