Conspiring bank officer to learn fate

National, Normal


A WOMAN charged with conspiring with another person and misappropriated more than K50,000,  will know her fate today at the Waigaini National court.
Stephanie Manafat, 26, of Vokeo, East Sepik province, appeared yesterday before Justice Allen David after she pleaded guilty earlier to one count of conspiracy to defraud another person.
The court was told that between June 12 and Oct 26, 2007, Manafat, while working as a customer service officer with BSP Waigani branch, conspired with a man who claimed to be a genuine client and assisted the person to perform some illegal transactions.
The court heard that Manafat conspired with the impersonator who pose as one Gabriel Korowa and assisted him to withdraw a total sum of K50,900 from Korowa’s account.
The court heard that she allegedly signed and issued 42 withdrawal slips to the unknown person and advised the bank tellers to process the payments.
It was alleged that Manafat also claimed that the man was an uncle.
When the tellers questioned Manafat about the man’s bank card, she told them it was with the man’s wife in Vanimo and impossible to obtain.
It was told that the tellers trusted Manafat as a senior staff with the bank and went ahead to process the payments as requested by her.
However, she was later caught when the account bearer placed a complaint, informing the bank that someone had withdrawn substantial amount of money from his savings account.
She was arrested and charged with the offence and pleaded guilty to the charges.
While making submissions on sentence, Manafat’s lawyer submitted that Manafat was a first-time offender who expressed remorse and pleaded guiltily to her actions, adding that the court should impose lesser penalty on her.
The counsel added that Manafat was in a better position to raise funds and repay the amount within a period of two years.
However, State lawyers argued that Manafat had breached the trust the people and the bank had on her and, therefore, she should serve a prison term of 18 months.
Justice David Cannings adjourned the matter to this afternoon for a decision on sentence.