SINGAPORE: A woman working at a mosque dipped her hand into its coffers, drawing out about S$38,000 between 2017 and 2019.
For one count of criminal breach of trust by a servant, with another two similar charges taken into consideration, 36-year-old Marlina Abdul Rahman was sentenced to nine months' jail on Wednesday (Jan 8).
She had pleaded guilty to the offences, crying in court and telling the judge that she had just discovered she was pregnant.
The court heard that Marlina, who was not represented, worked as a corporate service officer at Darul Aman Mosque in 1 Jalan Eunos.
She began taking money from the mosque a few months after she started work there in late January 2017.
She was entrusted to collect payments for the religious institution, gathering donations from the public, fees for using the mosque facilities and payments for religious classes.
Between March 2017 and November 2017, Marlina took a total of about S$15,000 belonging to the mosque.
She took another S$12,770 between January 2018 and November 2018, and S$10,195 between January 2019 and July 2019.
In August 2019, a corporate and estate manager at the mosque discovered that there was a shortage of S$4,800 from the money collected by the mosque during the Hari Raya Haji period.
She checked the receipts and the mosque's accounting system and found that Marlina had issued about 219 manual receipts, which were meant only as a back-up if the accounting system was down.
The manager made a thorough check and found that 155 of the 219 manual receipts had not been registered in the accounting system, and nine of the 64 manual receipts that had been registered were logged with smaller amounts in the system.
Marlina spent the money on her own expenses, as well as those of her family.
In total, she took S$37,877.50 from the mosque, and has repaid only S$4,800, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhas Malhotra.
For criminal breach of trust by a servant, she could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.