Maid jailed for receiving stolen funds

Shirley Navarrete Nalangan was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to dishonestly receiving stolen property. She had received $132,121.50 in her POSB account.
Shirley Navarrete Nalangan was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to dishonestly receiving stolen property. She had received $132,121.50 in her POSB account.

She agreed to online boyfriend's request to use her bank account

Filipino maid Shirley Navarrete Nalangan, 52, knew something was odd when her online boyfriend asked if she could receive some money in her bank account - supposedly for payments to a financing company.

When she asked, he could not provide her with the name of the firm and failed to give a satisfactory explanation as to why the cash had to be transferred through her.

However, against her better judgment, she agreed to help him.

Yesterday, she was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to dishonestly receiving stolen property. She had received $132,121.50 in cash on Jan 2, 2014. One count of removing $4,000 in cash from Singapore, by transferring it out via Western Union, was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Nalangan came to Singapore in 1990 and, according to her Facebook profile, is single.

In August 2012, she met Mr Albert Analdez through a dating website. He is purportedly from Kentucky in the United States. They entered into a relationship and her lawyer Ng Boon Gan told District Judge Jasvender Kaur that they spoke to each other daily on "intimate topics".

Mr Ng, who represented his client pro bono, added that they had even discussed marriage.

Some time in October 2013, Mr Analdez asked for Nalangan's help to receive some funds.

In December that year, Mr Analdez asked her to open an account with BNP Paribas to receive the money.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stacey Anne Fernandez said: "The accused was suspicious as to why she needed to open another bank account and after making inquiries with the bank, decided not to. The accused nevertheless agreed to receive (the) money on Albert's behalf in (her) POSB account."

Nalangan gave him her POSB account details and she received the full sum on Jan 2, 2014. She later remitted $4,000 via Western Union to a woman named Razniati Mohd Radzi in Malaysia.

Investigations revealed the money had been transferred out of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) account of Mr Fahmi El Hosseny, in Canadian currency, after the bank received an e-mail purportedly from him.

DPP Fernandez said: "(Mr El Hosseny) confirmed that he did not send CIBC any instructions to transfer money to the POSB account and his e-mail account had been compromised."

The Commercial Affairs Department in Singapore was alerted to the case on Jan 3, 2014 and officers later arrested Nalangan.

Yesterday, the court heard that the money will be remitted back to Mr El Hosseny.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2017, with the headline 'Maid jailed for receiving stolen funds'. Print Edition | Subscribe