Singapore

Man jailed for fleeing Singapore with $500k of boss' money

A business development manager, who received three cash cheques from his employer, fled to Malaysia after he encashed them and pocketed almost $500,000.

Indian national Bahurudeen Kuthpudeen, 44, was jailed for 31/2 years yesterday after pleading guilty to one count each of criminal breach of trust and removing from Singapore the benefits of his criminal conduct.

The court heard his employer A.M. Mohamed Farook, who operates Mohamed Thahir Exchange in Collyer Quay, signed three cash cheques for a total of $469,900 on March 27. They were meant to be encashed to buy foreign currencies.

The cheques were later passed to Bahurudeen. The business development manager encashed them at a bank.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Ng said: "Instead of returning to the company, the accused left Singapore via the Woodlands Checkpoint bus hall at 4.46pm."

When his colleagues could not find him, they alerted Mr A.M. Mohamed, who later made a police report.

DPP Ng told District Judge Luke Tan that Bahurudeen was later detained at the border of Kedah. Cash totalling almost $24,000 was found in his possession and seized.

Lawyer Siraj Shaik Aziz, who was assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said $458,652 has been recovered.

He said his client was his family's sole breadwinner. His wife had stayed in India to look after their 13-year-old who has a disability in her hand.

Stressing that Bahurudeen is "genuinely remorseful", Mr Siraj said: "It was financial difficulties brought on by the need to service a loan for his daughter's hand operation that prompted the commission of the offences in a momentary lapse of judgment."

COURT & CRIME