A Filipino maid who dishonestly received US$105,000 (S$132,121.50) from a man she befriended online was sentenced to nine months’ jail on Monday (12 May).
Shirley Navarrete Nalangan, 52, pleaded guilty to one charge of dishonestly receiving stolen property. Another count of removing property from jurisdiction against Nalagan, who was then working in Singapore, was taken into consideration during sentencing.
Some time in 2012, Nalangan befriended a man by the name of Albert Analdez online via a dating website, according to Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stacey Anne Fernandez.
The two hit it off and Nalangan started communicating through Facebook and phone calls with Analdez, who claimed to be an American from Kentucky.
In October 2013, Analdez asked Nalangan to help him receive some funds via her POSB account. He said that the money was for payments to a Malaysian financing company in order for him to get a profit from an engineering project, which he claimed that he was involved in.
Analdez told her that after the money was deposited into her account, Nalangan was supposed to withdraw the cash and pass it to an employee of the financing company.
Despite Nalangan being suspicious of the arrangement, she agreed to help Analdez. She gave Analdez the details of her POSB account and received the money.
Nalangan received US$105,000 on 2 January 2014 from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) account of Fahmi El Hosseny.
CIBC received several e-mails – purportedly from El Hosseny – with instructions for it to carry out the wire transfer to Nalangan’s POSB account. However, El Hosseny later said he did not give any such instruction and that his e-mail had been compromised.
Of the amount, Nalangan remitted S$4,000 to a Malaysian woman by the name of Razniati Mohd Radzi.
For dishonestly receiving stolen property, Nalangan could have been jailed up to five years and fined.