Mosque chairman accused of siphoning $370,000 in cash collections over 7 years

Ab Mutalif Hashim is accused of filching $371,891 in cash collections between January 2006 and March 2013.
Ab Mutalif Hashim is accused of filching $371,891 in cash collections between January 2006 and March 2013.PHOTO: ADAM ASSOCIATION

SINGAPORE - A 55-year-old former chairman of Masjid Darussalam, a mosque in Commonwealth Avenue West, was on Wednesday (Aug 3) charged with 14 counts of misappropriating more than $370,000 from its coffers.

Ab Mutalif Hashim, who was also chairman of the mosque's management board, allegedly filched $371,891 in cash collections between January 2006 and March 2013.

He allegedly used $18,291 to pay for expenses incurred by the Association for Devoted and Active Family Men, of which he is president. The voluntary welfare organisation addresses issues faced by men.

He purportedly deposited the rest of the cash into various bank accounts.

If found guilty of criminal breach of trust, Mutalif faces up to 10 years' jail and a fine, for the crimes committed prior to 2008.

For the offences committed in 2008 and after, he faces up to 20 years' jail and a fine, or life imprisonment, if convicted.

The case will be mentioned again on Aug 10.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said: "Muis does not condone any financial impropriety at our mosques and had sought the assistance of the police when it detected the financial irregularity at Darussalam Mosque."

The council said it has policies and procedures in place to ensure good governance in mosques.

It added: "Notwithstanding this case, Muis appreciates the invaluable contributions of our mosque volunteers, who have been serving their community and congregation selflessly through the years, and hopes that the volunteers continue to give off their best for our mosques and community."