Singapore’s Hindu Religion Board will take strong steps to keep special eye on gold jewelry in temples

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Singapore's Hindu Religion Board

Singapore: Singapore’s Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Affairs, Edwin Tong, said a few weeks after the former Indian head priest of a temple was accused of tampering with gold jewelry. The Board (HEB) is taking steps to increase surveillance on gold items in the four temples that it manages. According to the ‘Today’ newspaper, the minister said on Monday that the management committees of the temples would tighten the surveillance on the gold items in their temples. Tong reported that HEB would conduct more audits every year.

Tong MP Murali Pillai questioned whether HEB has reviewed the Sri Mariamman temple case and whether any steps have been taken to prevent such an incident from happening again. In response to this question, Tong said that HEB is taking steps to increase surveillance on the gold items in the four temples that he manages to pledge money for the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, Indian priest Kandasamy Senapati (37) has been charged with criminal treachery.

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Senapati (37) has been charged with five counts of criminal breach of trust as an employee under a law relating to corruption, drug trafficking, and other serious offenses. Kandasamy, the chief priest at the Sri Mariamman Temple, is accused of raising gold jewelry from the temple from 2016 to 2020 and pledging it to shops.

Prosecutors told the court that the value of the pledged jewelry was more than two million Singapore dollars (1.5 million US dollars). A further hearing in the court on Kandasamy’s case will be held on 15 March. If found guilty, he can be sentenced to 15 years in prison.