Woman who cheated relative of $110k jailed

A pregnant 33-year-old woman will have her first child behind bars next month after she was jailed for 15 months yesterday for cheating a distant relative of $110,000 and for assisting a loan shark. -- ST GRAPHIC
A pregnant 33-year-old woman will have her first child behind bars next month after she was jailed for 15 months yesterday for cheating a distant relative of $110,000 and for assisting a loan shark. -- ST GRAPHIC

A pregnant 33-year-old woman will have her first child behind bars next month after she was jailed for 15 months yesterday for cheating a distant relative of $110,000 and for assisting a loan shark.

Manisah Mohamed Ariff, who was also fined $30,000 yesterday, made up investment schemes offering lucrative returns to convince Ms Zaiton Junid to hand over her money.

Asking the court to impose a jail term of at least 18 months, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kung Yong Jin said that there was plenty of planning and premeditation by the former DBS Bank officer, who also betrayed the trust of her relative.

But her defence lawyer Louis Joseph said his client, who has a bachelor of science degree in banking and finance from the Singapore Institute of Management, turned to cheating because of financial pressures which included having to support her aged parents.

With her husband, a resident manager working in Sentosa, looking on, she left the court to start her jail term in tears.

The district court heard that in mid-2011, she convinced Ms Zaiton, a 52-year-old purchasing officer, to put $50,000 into a foreign exchange investment scheme "operated" by a fictitious forex brokerage firm in Cyprus.

Manisah promised monthly returns of $625 for 10 years amounting to a profit of $75,000. But the payments stopped after five months.

She then convinced her relative to hand over another $60,000 in July 2012 for a DBS Employees Share Option programme which never existed.

By September 2012, Ms Zaiton suspected she had been cheated and made a police report.

Investigations then revealed that Manisah had helped a loan shark in June 2012 by handing over her ATM card and allowing him to use her bank account for illegal purposes. For cheating, she could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

khush@sph.com.sg

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