Ex-leader in mosque charged with taking $370,000 of its funds

Mutalif was chairman of the mosque's management board and head of a VWO for men's issues.
Mutalif was chairman of the mosque's management board and head of a VWO for men's issues.

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

Ab Mutalif Hashim, 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 (CBT), Mutalif faces up to 10 years' jail and a fine, for the crimes committed prior to 2008.

Under changes to the law, which led to an increase in punishment for CBT, he faces up to 20 years' jail and a fine, or life imprisonment if convicted of offences committed in 2008 and after.

The case will be mentioned again next Wednesday.

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 of their best for our mosques and community."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-leader in mosque charged with taking $370,000 of its funds'. Print Edition | Subscribe