Two former co-op staff charged with cheating and other offences causing $5.1m loss

Two former staff members of a statutory board co-operative society were hauled to court on Wednesday to face hundreds of charges of fraud and other offences involving $5.1 million.
Two former staff members of a statutory board co-operative society were hauled to court on Wednesday to face hundreds of charges of fraud and other offences involving $5.1 million.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Two women who had worked for a statutory board co-operative society were hauled to court on Wednesday (Dec 21) to face hundreds of charges of cheating and other offences involving $5.1 million.

Arni Ahmad, 41, then an assistant manager, was charged with 467 counts while former administrative executive Hanati Jani, 49, was slapped with 275 charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin told the court this was a case of massive public institutional fraud involving the Singapore Statutory Boards Employees' Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society.

The co-operative is regulated by the Cooperative Societies Act and is registered with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

He said that between 2008 and 2013, the pair submitted forged forms purportedly from phantom members and cheated the co-operative into disbursing $5.1 million.

DPP Chin said Arni and Hanati then laundered the monies through a network of phantom members before eventually channelling the funds back to themselves.

They face charges of cheating, conspiracy to cheat, forgery, criminal breach of trust as a servant, scheming to commit CBT, acquiring benefits of criminal conduct and using benefits of criminal conduct.

Arni, who was unrepresented, said she intends to get a Criminal Legal Aid Scheme lawyer.

Hanati's lawyer Amarjit Singh asked for six weeks' adjournment to take instructions.

They were each offered bail of $1 million in one surety or $500,000 in two sureties. Their passports have been impounded.

District Judge Christopher Goh adjourned the case to Jan 25.