SINGAPORE — A 37-year-old former chief priest of Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, was charged at the State Courts on Tuesday (16 February) with five charges each of criminal breach of trust and transferring the benefits of criminal conduct.
The offences were allegedly committed by Kandasamy Senapathi, an Indian national, between 2016 and last year, and involved jewellery worth some $2 million in pawn value.
More than $140,000 was allegedly remitted to India unlawfully.
In a statement last year, the temple at South Bridge Road said, "Gold ornaments which are frequently used for prayers are kept under the custody of the chief priest in the inner sanctum of the Temple. Regular audits are done to ensure that the gold ornaments are physically accounted for.
"During the last audit, it was discovered (that) some gold ornaments were missing. The chief priest was questioned, and he subsequently returned all missing gold ornaments," the temple added.
The temple then made a police report and the culprit was arrested.
Kandasamy will return to court on 15 March. Bail has been set at $100,000.
If found guilty of criminal breach of trust as an employee, he faces up to 15 years' jail and a fine per charge.
The maximum punishment for transferring the benefits of criminal conduct is a fine of up to $500,000 and a jail term of up to 10 years.
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