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Bank teller engaged in targeted thefts to feed gambling addiction

Carine Tumapang news

Carine Gwen Tamayo Tumapang, a 28-year-old bank teller at TSB Bank’s Bell Block branch in New Plymouth, meticulously selected elderly or health-compromised customers to steal over $28,000 to support her gambling addiction.

Over her final two months of employment, Tumapang exploited the lack of internet banking usage among her victims, making unauthorised withdrawals from their accounts.

The fraudulent activities came to light when a customer inquired about an unexpected letter regarding a dormant account, prompting an investigation by the bank’s financial crime team.

According to a report in legacy media, Tumapang was caught on CCTV camera pocketing cash from her drawer without any customer present. She was subsequently charged with multiple counts of accessing a computer system for dishonest purposes and using a document for pecuniary advantage.

Appearing before Judge Gregory Hikaka, Tumapang admitted to all charges, with her defense lawyer arguing for a supervisory sentence due to her lack of criminal history and efforts in restitution and counseling.

However, the prosecution highlighted the severity and premeditated nature of her crimes, calling them a significant breach of trust. Judge Hikaka criticised Tumapang’s deliberate targeting of vulnerable individuals and ruled out a sentence of supervision, saying it was insufficient for the gravity of her actions. Tumapang was remanded on bail, with sentencing adjourned to allow time for an appropriate address for potential community detention.

Image credit: Clifford Photography

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