Singapore

Ex-tour manager jailed 
for embezzling $35k

A former tour manager of a travel company was jailed for five months yesterday for criminal breach of trust involving close to $35,000.

Natesapillai Atchayalingam, 52, an Indian national, was employed by Serangoon Air Travel at its outlet in The Verge in Serangoon Road when he committed the offences between January and December last year.

A discrepancy was discovered when a customer went there on Jan 10 this year and asked for the tickets of his tour package to India.

The customer said he had made full payment to Natesapillai, even though this was not reflected in the company's records. The customer later sent a photograph of an invoice he had received.

But the director of the company found that it had not issued it.

The company's records showed outstanding payments.

He lodged a police report the next day, alleging that Natesapillai had misappropriated $22,763 in cash belonging to the company.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ian Ernst Chai said that throughout last year, Natesapillai had misappropriated money from customers.

He would ask them to make transfers to his personal bank account and would then create an invoice number.He would enter the purchase into the accounting system and proceed to buy tour packages and flight tickets from various agents.

He would then manually enter partial payment into the system, even though full payment had been made.

The company honoured these orders for tour packages and flights.

In some instances, he would issue a fake invoice to the client.

Natesapillai misappropriated a total of $34,639 from 43 customers last year. He has made full restitution.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined.

 

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