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Jail for woman who submitted bogus travel insurance claims, got S$14,000 in payouts

SINGAPORE — Over a span of three years, Siti Saliha Muhammad Hussain managed to fraudulently attain about S$14,000 in payouts from many insurers these as AXA, AIG and NTUC Earnings.

She did this by exploiting the checks and balances for such claims that she thought ended up lax, a court read on Friday (July 29).

Between other procedures, she lied that her sister’s baggage and laptop had been weakened through a trip abroad, and that her mother and schoolmate had been robbed.

She also falsified flight tickets, receipts and other supporting paperwork for her plan, which she retained a secret from her family members.

On Friday (July 29), the 30-yr-outdated Singaporean was sentenced in a district court docket to five months’ jail.

She pleaded guilty to 6 counts of cheating, with an additional 14 expenses taken into thought for sentencing.

She has since manufactured entire restitution to the 6 coverage providers she cheated.

The court listened to that Siti made 20 fraudulent promises from them in between March 2016 and September 2019. She been given 17 payouts amounting to S$14,372.

Her offences inevitably arrived to gentle when the insurers located some of her promises suspicious and done interior investigations. They then filed law enforcement reports in opposition to her.

HOW THE Scheme Worked

In 1 occasion, Siti, her two sisters and her mother took a relatives trip to Kuala Lumpur in September 2016. Siti served them to buy journey insurance coverage policies with AXA and AIG.

Court docket files mentioned that throughout the excursion, the family’s Dunlop baggage bag, which they experienced purchased for all over S$200 in 2010, was weakened when currently being retrieved from the baggage declare conveyor belt at Kuala Lumpur Global Airport.

Siti then recalled a previous inflated declare she experienced designed for a loved ones vacation previously this calendar year for their weakened baggage.

At the time, she was not requested to give supporting receipts in get to get larger payouts. She then felt this was yet another opportunity to exploit the insurers.

Just after looking on the internet, she uncovered pictures of a stained Louis Vuitton branded baggage bag and a receipt for it valued at HKD$7,700 (S$1,353).

She used these photographs to file a false assert under her sister’s title with AXA, proclaiming that her sister experienced uncovered non-removable stains on her luggage which was no for a longer period included less than warranty.

She also designed the exact same claim with AIG under her personal title and coverage.

AXA disbursed S$300 to her sister’s bank account, which Siti had entry to, though AIG disbursed S$500 through a cheque.

Shortly afterwards, she made a decision to post additional promises about the identical luggage bag to AXA and AIG underneath her other sister’s title. This time, she employed a receipt for a baggage bag from the Tumi brand, which she understood was frequently a lot more expensive.

The two insurers disbursed S$950 in total.

Siti then determined to make repeated fraudulent travel insurance policy statements any time the chance offered alone. She also bought vacation insurance policy policies to make phony statements even when no overseas visits were planned.

When she accidentally misplaced her wallet and Apple iphone through a excursion to Tokyo, Japan, she lodged a bogus police report that somebody had stolen the goods.

She understood that her AXA insurance policies plan did not compensate reduction resulting from personal carelessness.

She then built a wrong coverage claim stating that her Apple iphone and S$5,000 hard cash ended up stolen. She also lied that her Lenovo Notepad laptop experienced been filched, due to the fact she understood there was a S$400 cap on the payout she could obtain for getting rid of individual cash.

AXA disbursed S$2,288 to her.

When her sister went to Krabi, Thailand in mid-2017, Siti retrieved her sibling’s flight departure ticket and manufactured a assert for S$1,988, declaring her baggage bag and notebook had been damaged.

Siti also searched on-line for samples of altering and assets irregularity reports —official airline or baggage dealing with documents detailing injury or reduction of products — then amended them to involve phony particulars of the alleged destruction.

She submitted these edited studies, alongside with visuals she observed on the internet of a damaged baggage bag and laptop, to MSIG. The insurance provider disbursed S$1,500.

In February 2019, she submitted a assert to AXA stating that her mother had been robbed of S$600 and her Iphone when on a journey to Pekanbaru, Indonesia. Her mom had, in simple fact, not travelled there at all.

She located an graphic of a boarding pass from the funds airline Scoot, altering it to contain her mother’s identify. She also received a sample of an Indonesian law enforcement report and amended it to appear like her mom experienced lodged a report above a theft.

AXA disbursed S$1,415 to her.

‘IRONIC’ TO Assert HER Situation Were being DIRE: Judge

Deputy General public Prosecutor Angela Ang sought five to 7 months’ jail, arguing that Siti had proven obvious organizing and premeditation offered the lengths she went to.

Ms Yamuna Balakrishnan, Siti’s defence counsel, asked for a fine rather, arguing that heading to jail would necessarily mean Siti could not be a breadwinner for her family.

The law firm informed the courtroom in her mitigation plea that her consumer arrives from “an very lousy economic background”. Siti had fully commited the offences “in determined have to have of money” to shell out for her family’s healthcare costs, the lawyer said.

Ms Balakrishnan mentioned that Siti’s father abandoned the family members in 2000. Her mom is visually impaired, and one of her sisters stop her work after getting identified with glaucoma, which can trigger vision loss and blindness by harm to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. 

“She acknowledges that what she did was unlawful, but she pleads for leniency,” Ms Balakrishnan added.

On the other hand, Principal District Decide Luke Tan said that there was almost nothing excellent about her relatives circumstances that manufactured it a relevant mitigating variable.

“It’s genuinely fairly ironic, seeking at the information of the circumstance where by counsel highlighted that the accused was in this kind of evident dire conditions. And but, these offences arose as a result of vacation abroad,” the judge told the court docket.

Siti will get started serving her sentence on Sept 1 and stays out on bail.

For each individual dishonest offence, she could have been jailed for up to 3 years or fined, or both.