Singapore — A woman worked for a bank for nearly 20 years and rose to the rnk of supervisor at PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), earning $4,200 a month.
But then she got into debt and her debt pit just kept getting deeper and deeper.
Her credit card spending, loans from licensed moneylenders and a company loan kept piling up until at one point, she owed more than $83,000, or close to 20 times her monthly pay.
And then it only got worse. Nurashikeen Sinin, then 37, was so desperate for money that she sought out a moneylender online, hoping to fix her problem.
But in reality, the “moneylender” was a scammer, who must have thought this woman was the proverbial pot of gold.
The scammer told her on Oct 12, 2020 that she first had to pay a $2,500 “administrative fee” to have her “loan” of $25,000 approved. She paid the sum but the amount she sought to borrow was not released to her
Nine days later, on Oct 21, the “moneylender” asked for another $2,500 as “collateral fee” plus another $ 5,000 to “secure” the loan. She paid up but she never got the “loan”.
That was when Nurashikeen began stealing from the City Plaza branch in Geylang where she worked. It offers its customers a remittance service to Indonesia, according to a report in TODAY.
Taking the money was dead easy for her as she oversaw the bank tellers and they would hand her cash to put in the bank;s vault. It was part of her job to count the money in the vault every day and prepare balance sheets for the day. Her duties also required her to transfer excess cash to BNI’s main branch at her discretion. This was something she had the discretion to decide on.
At first, she stole $5,400 to give to the scammer, who then demanded even more in “fees” from her in order to secure her “loan”.The scammer told her that all this money would be returned to her with the loan.
In all, Nurashikeen stole some $628,000 from BNI as she got ever deeper into the clutches of the fake moneylender.
She was sentenced on Wednesday (Jan 5) to four years in jail after she pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust as a servant. Another count for falsifying documents was considered in her sentencing.
Nurashikeen ended up paying $735,000 IN ALL to the fake moneylender, 25 times the sum she had originally hoped to borrow.
It became a pattern. She’d steal cash from the branch and hand the money to the scammer. This went on until Nov 12, 2020, by which time she had taken at least $628,000. She would falsify the bank’s daily cash balance sheets to hide her embezzlement.
”Given the monies that she had sunk into the purported loan application, her increasing desperation, and her misplaced belief that the monies would be returned to her, the accused continued to misappropriate cash from the (bank),” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Benjamin Samynathan.
Many people may find this hard to believe. She never got the loan she sought from the fake moneylender. But in the course of those few weeks, Nurashikeen ended up transferring $735,000 to the fake moneylender from her savings of $97,750 plus the amount she stole from the bank.
On Nov 13, 2020, she confessed to BNI’s head of customer service. The bank had been tipped off about the theft and it sent the customer service head to to check and count the cash.
The very next day, Nurashikeen was fired and on Nov 20, she filed a police report against the scammer.
The bank has not managed to recover the money from the scammer or from Nurashikeen, who is now an undischarged bankrupt, Yahoo! Singapore reports. /TISG
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