Man charged with embezzlement to be sentenced next week

National 2 minutes, 45 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A LEVEL 2 Municipal Board assistant who tried to cover up embezzlement by lodging a false police report that he was robbed at knifepoint is scheduled to be sentenced next week after pleading guilty to the charges yesterday.

The defendant, 47-year-old Nor Ahmad Karna, in his mitigation sought for the court to consider imposing a fine instead of a custodial sentence. He said if he was sent to prison, there would be no one to take care of his wife, who is unwell. He said he also has financial obligations such as car loans and phone bills.

He said that since he was suspended from work in 2011, he hasn’t committed any offences and further indicated that he wished to be reinstated at his old job at the Municipal Board.

When asked by the court why he committed the offence, he said he didn’t intend to take the money but was stressed out over a debt, as the person he borrowed the money from had called him.

Upon being further pressed, he said he filed a false police report because he felt he was possessed, stating human weakness, and didn’t realise what he had done until much later.

“The reason why I ask is to see if you’re remorseful. But from the answers you’ve given me, you keep blaming other people until you blame the devil. Anyone can say that. I just want to know why,” said Intermediate Court Judge Hj Abdullah Soefri POKSM DSP Hj Abidin.

The court then turned to Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharon Yeo on the five-year delay in bringing the case to court, to which the prosecution apologised as they had overlooked the case and only received instructions late last year.

Nor Ahmad could be facing up to 10 years in prison and also be liable for an unspecified amount in fines for the criminal breach of trust charge and up to six months in prison or up to a $4,000 fine for the charge of lodging a false report with the police.

The defendant was released on $2,000 bail or the same amount in one local surety pending sentencing on January 26.

At the time of the offence, Nor Ahmad was an acting Level 1 Municipal Board assistant responsible for receiving the daily collection of carpark coupons from other municipal assistants. He was also responsible for ensuring that the daily collection was deposited in the Municipal Board’s Baiduri Bank account at the end of the day.

On October 6, 2011, Nor Ahmad received a total of $1,037.40 from the municipal assistants, but instead of depositing it, he brought the money to his house in Kg Mulaut and kept it in a storeroom.

He then went to Baiduri Bank at Supasave in Beribi and called the police hotline and informed an officer that $1,037.40 was stolen after he was robbed by two men at knifepoint while he was in the parking lot of Supasave Beribi.

When police officers arrived at Supasave Beribi to investigate, they noticed that Nor Ahmad was acting suspicious, and upon questioning him, he admitted that he was having financial problems and had actually kept the cash at his home in Kg Mulaut. He also admitted that his report regarding the robbery wasn’t true.

The money was later recovered by the police.

The Brunei Times