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Two ex-Certis Cisco officers jailed for misappropriating ATM money

Two former Certis Cisco officers who were tasked with the job of replenishing money at ATMs in Singapore ended up misappropriating nearly $147,000 instead.

SINGAPORE: Two former Certis Cisco officers who were tasked with the job of replenishing money at ATMs in Singapore ended up misappropriating nearly $147,000 instead.

For that, 21-year-old Palwinder Singh A/L Harjan Singh will now spend 30 months in jail while 27-year-old Theywa Subramaniam will serve a 36-month jail term.

The court heard that Theywa, deemed to be more culpable, was also convicted of one count of moving the criminal proceeds to Malaysia and another count of moving more than $30,000 cash out of Singapore.

The court was told that the offences were committed in mid-September last year when the two officers made their rounds with another colleague, who was not involved.

The two men had discussed their plan over tea break, after sharing with each other their unhappiness with their employer's management.

They decided to execute their plan when they were at Plaza Singapura.

Instead of heading for the ATMs directly, the two men pushed the trolley carrying the cash into the men's washroom.

Their movement was captured on CCTV.

They took out $147,000 and left the other $293,000 cash in the bags before continuing their rounds.

The prosecution had previously argued that the starting point for such offences is a jail term of between 24 and 28 months.

The aggravating factors in this instance were that the two accused were security officers and that their plea of guilt is inequitable, as they were caught on CCTV and the offences would have been discovered.

In mitigation, the defence counsel argued that $135,000 was recovered at Theywa's Malaysian residence, and that his client was truly remorseful, having "supreme stupidity of thinking that they could get away".

But District Judge Siva Shanmugam pointed out that the acts were pre-meditated and that the amount involved was substantial.

He said the blatant abuse of trust has undermined public confidence in the security industry.

For criminal breach of trust as an employee, they could each have been jailed up to 15 years and fined.

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