NATION

Student Gets 9 Years Jail for Internet Fraud

A Suva Magistrate yesterday sentenced Manjeet Singh to nine years imprisonment for three counts of money laundering through internet banking. Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne said: “The public deposit their hard earned
07 Apr 2017 14:59
Student Gets 9 Years Jail for Internet Fraud
Manjeet Singh outside the Suva Magistrates Court on April 6, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

A Suva Magistrate yesterday sentenced Manjeet Singh to nine years imprisonment for three counts of money laundering through internet banking.

Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne said: “The public deposit their hard earned monies in the financial institutions hoping that it would be safe there and it would be devastating for them to find that their savings are withdrawn by criminals.”

Singh was convicted on March 30, after a trial. Magistrate Somaratne said bank reputation was at stake.

“Even though the banks would normally take action quickly to limit the impact to their customers, reputation to their business would be suffered significantly,” Magistrate Somaratne said.

“As Fiji is becoming a regional hub in finance, confidently in banking, financial institutions need to be protected to attract the investments and to sustain development.

“The criminals who prey on innocent people’s savings in the banks need to be denounced and deterred.”

Between December 5, 2013 and December 16, 2013, at Suva, Singh engaged indirectly in transactions that involved money to the sum of $20,102.51 from Bank South Pacific account belonging to Sat Narayan.

Also between December 19, 2013 and December 21, 2013 at Suva, he engaged indirectly in transactions that involved money to the sum $4400 from Bank South Pacific account belonging to Deo Chand.

For aggravating factors Magistrate Somaratne said that Singh was staying with Narayan as a tenant. He further said that Narayan allowed Singh to stay in the room without paying rent.

“Singh showed his gratitude by committing this offence thus breach of trust,” said Magistrate Somaratne.

The court heard that Singh tried to implicate some innocent girls for this criminal enterprise and had asked Rajneel Chaudary (co-accused) to involve them in these offences.

It was noted by the court that the bank lost a substantial amount through these offending.

Magistrate Somaratne said even though he was a university graduate, pursuing a CPA Australia Certificate and was remorseful and sought forgiveness evidence clearly showed that he planned with the first accused to deprive the victims’ of their savings.

“Hence you can’t blame anyone for this long custodial sentence you’re going to serve from today,” he said.

Singh was represented by Suva lawyer Barbara Malimali.

His non-parole period is seven years.

Edited by Rusiate Mataiaka

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