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February 21, 2013
Four moneychangers fined for role in Fiji heist involving $1m
Four moneychangers (left to right) Abdul Jaleel N. K. Mohamed Ali, Amir Hamja Shaik Dawood, Sheik Allavudeen S. S. Omar and Nizamudeen D. M. Syed Ahmad, who failed to record transactions involving nearly $720,000 of stolen Fiji dollars, were fined on Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
By Khushwant Singh
Four moneychangers, who failed to record transactions involving nearly $720,000 of stolen Fiji dollars, were fined on Wednesday. Three of them were fined $15,000 each on one charge. The fourth, Abdul Jaleel N. K. Mohamed Ali, 53, was fined $24,000 as he committed two such offences.
The Money-Changing & Remittance Business Act requires licensees to keep a complete record of transactions of above $5,000. The four men had pleaded guilty last week.
The court heard then that three port workers broke into a container on a ship docked at Jurong Port on Aug 19, 2010, and stole one million Fiji dollars (S$713,000). The money, all in $20 notes, was part of a shipment of newly printed currency worth 202 million Fiji dollars en route from London to the Pacific island nation. The theft was discovered when the container arrived in Suva, capital of Fiji.
An Interpol alert was sent out and officers from Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) discovered that within three days of the theft, an unknown man had exchanged $340,000 Fiji dollars for Singapore currency on two occasions at Abdul Jaleel's Anisha & Riyas outlet at People's Park Centre.