Singapore

Woman duped victims of $3.9m in multiple scams

An unemployed woman who conned at least 15 victims of $3.9 million by perpetrating multiple scams was sentenced to 12 years' jail yesterday.

Kalimahton Mohamed Samuri, 55, had a previous brush with the law.

She was sentenced to 6½ years' jail in 2000 for criminal breach of trust of $7 million worth of jewellery.

Then dubbed the "pawnshop princess", she called herself Datin Sharinah and had pawned the jewellery in various pawnshops between 1997 and 1999, leaving behind a complex trail that took the police years to unravel.

Years after her release, she was back to her old ways.

Between 2012 and 2015, the undischarged bankrupt cheated multiple victims including taxi drivers, crane operators, a fishmonger and a scuba instructor.

RUSE

The court heard that in her main ruse, she would tell the victims that she could offer favourable exchange rates for foreign currencies.

She also told them that money was needed for storage and taxes of the foreign currencies, or that she could exchange cash notes into special SG50 commemorative notes and that the victims could make a commission on this change.

She also said she had wealthy buyers in Malaysia who were interested in luxury goods which could be bought in Singapore.

She would then sell the goods and pocket the money.

Kalimahton, who was in a wheelchair in court, admitted to 20 of 69 cheating charges.

Calling her a "career cheat'', Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min sought a high sentence of 12 to 14 years.

On each charge, Kalimahton, whose sentence was backdated to Nov 21, 2015, could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined. 
- THE STRAITS TIMES

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