Singapore: Working woman faces 16 months in prison for cheating company and money laundering

Loke Pui Ling took more than $42,000 to help her online boyfriend Sean

Singapore woman arrested for money laundering
Singapore woman arrested for money laundering (Representational picture) Pixabay

A married woman, who also works as customer support officer was tricked by a man, whom she met online. She wanted relationship and commitment from the man. However, her alleged online boyfriend misled her and then asked her to cheat her company.

When the woman named Loke Pui Ling, 44, found that her online boyfriend Sean was supposedly facing some financial difficulties, she illegally took more than $42,000 from her employer and send some of the money to Nigeria and deposited the remaining amount to different bank accounts.

Police arrested the woman, who also has two children and has been given 16 months of imprisonment by District Judge Samuel Chua on Monday, January 29.

Loke pleaded guilty during the hearing for criminal breach of trust as a clerk or servant and also for

cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.

The court also heard that in January 2015 she met Sean through a dating website but he turned out to be a scammer, who was just using Loke's feeling to get money.

As a customer support specialist Loke's job was to collect funds from customers. She gathered almost $42,292.70 in cash between July 14, 2015, and May 20, 2016. She kept the amount with her and later remitted the cash.

The crime came to the spotlight when the director of the company discovered that there is a huge difference in the payments made by Loke's customers. Then he asked Loke to tell the truth on May 27, 2016.

The money has not been recovered yet and the accused did not make any returns to her company.

Previously also she was involved in a money launder case, where she sent the fund to a man named Jason, who asked her help for work purpose. He instructed Loke to withdraw $60,000 which she handed over to an unknown woman in Singapore. In 2014, Loke received a warning from police for dealing with illegal funds.

Jordon Li, the Deputy Public Prosecutor urged for at least 18 months in jail. Ashwin Ganapathy, the defense lawyer told that his client was trapped in a loveless marriage and found that her husband had an extra-marital affair. She also has a responsibility towards her 12 and 15-year-old children. According to the lawyer, this is what triggered Loke to search for love elsewhere.

Loke's lawyer appealed for a jail term, not more than 12 months and said that according to her background she doesn't come from a family which supports such crimes. He also mentioned that Loke was a victim of online scamming.

According to the law, a convict of similar allegations can be jailed up to 15 years, including fine. Only for cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, the criminal can be sent to jail for maximum 10 years or can be fined up to $500,000 or both.