The former chairman of a mosque’s management board has been jailed for siphoning over 200,000 GBP, most of which he gave to the poor and needy.
Picture Credits: AsiaWire & AsiaWire/Google Maps
Ab Mutalif Hashim, 58, stole the money from Darussalam Mosque in the island city-state of Singapore over a seven-year period between 2006 and 2013.
The defendant siphoned 372,000 SGD (211,220 GBP) into various bank accounts, including his own, and pleaded guilty to six charges of criminal breach of trust.
According to reports, it is believed to be one of the largest amounts ever misappropriated from a mosque.
Hashim’s lawyer Satwant Singh argued that his client was a “hero” for giving money to the poor, handing out between 67,000 SGD (38,045 GBP) and 84,000 SGD (47,695 GBP) to people in need.
However, while noting that the defendant had distributed money to the needy, District Judge Ong Chin Rhu also said that he used a large amount for his own personal use.
According to the court’s statement, 71,000 SGD (40,300 GBP) went into his own bank account while 72,000 (40,900 GBP) and 18,000 SGD (10,220 GBP) went to two charitable organisations that he managed, the Just Parenting Association (JPA) and the Association for Devoted and Active Family Men (Adam).
Hashim also took a monthly salary of 7,000 SGD (3,975 GBP) as executive director of JPA.
Reports said that some of the money is still unaccounted for.
Judge Ong Chin Rhu said: “As this was a case involving misappropriation of charity monies, the ultimate victims of the breach of trust were the numerous congregants who gave generously out of their own financial resources to the mosque, with the legitimate expectation and belief that these monies would be managed and used prudently, responsibly, in a transparent manner and in keeping with proper procedure and process.”
It is unclear if any appeals are planned.