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AFP
February 18, 2021

Singapore’s Hindu priest charged in $1.5m gold pawning case

World

AFP
February 18, 2021

SINGAPORE: The former chief priest of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple has been charged with repeatedly pawning gold religious ornaments for a total of $1.5 million, court officials said on Wednesday.

Kandasamy Senapathi would redeem the pawned ornaments when he had raised enough money and return them to the temple, according to local media -- but his ruse was uncovered when he could not get enough cash to buy the gold back after the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The 37-year-old Indian national worked at the Sri Mariamman Temple, a 194-year-old, ornately decorated place of worship in downtown Singapore that is popular with devotees and tourists alike.

He is accused of having pawned the gold items five times between 2016 and 2020 when he was still chief priest. Temple authorities discovered the items were missing during an audit and he was arrested, and later stripped of his role as chief priest.