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Jail for Batam church pastor who conspired to deposit fake S$10,000 note in S’pore

Singapore – An Indonesian man changed a counterfeit S$10,000 note in his possession despite having reason to believe that it was fake.

Mr Jusuf Nababan, 49, a pastor of a church in Batam, Indonesia, was sentenced on Friday (Feb 19) to four years and two months in jail after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring with another individual to use a counterfeit note as genuine, reported straitstimes.com.

The court heard that Mr Nababan had come across the S$10,000 note sometime in 2019 in a container of second-hand clothes from Singapore he had received to sell. He took it to a local moneychanger who allegedly told him it was genuine.

Despite having reason to suspect that the note was fake, Mr Nababan came to Singapore to break the S$10,0000 bill into smaller denominations.


He asked 47-year-old Ms Yolanda, with whom he was in a relationship then, to find a Singaporean who could change the fake note into smaller denominations, promising the individual a “commission.”

Ms Yolanda then contacted 62-year-old Mr Saw Eng Kiat, who agreed to help. The three met on Oct 11, 2019, and Mr Nababan handed over the fake note to Mr Saw.

According to court documents, Mr Saw became suspicious of the note because it was handed over to him in a casual manner despite its supposed value. However, he decided to push through with the transaction given the “commission” that was promised to him. Mr Saw was also facing financial problems at that time, the report noted.

When Mr Saw inquired about the note’s value at two antique shops, he was told it was worthless. He informed Mr Nababan and Ms Yolanda that the shops did not accept the note. He also suggested trying to change it at a bank instead.

The three individuals visited the Harbourfront Centre shopping mall and presented the note to a DBS branch located in the mall.

The teller was unaware that the counting machine she had used was not equipped with a counterfeit note detector, court documents stated. The teller accepted the note and deposited S$10,000 into Mr Saw’s bank account.

The money was later split among the three individuals with Mr Saw keeping S$1,500. Mr Nababan took S$7,500 and Ms Yolanda S$1,000.

Court documents state that Mr Nababan gambled the money at a casino, reported straitstimes.com.

The trio’s actions came to light on Oct 17, 2019, when a DBS employee made a police report.

On Mar 2020, Mr Saw was jailed for four years and two months for his involvement with the offence. The report noted that no further action was taken against Ms Yolanda.

Mr Nababan’s sentence was backdated to Nov 9, 2019, when he was remanded. He could have been imprisoned for up to 20 years and fined for his offence./TISG

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