Risk and Reward: After Penang woman admits to staging her own robbery, we assess the liabilities

Well, this is awkward: A pair of Kepala Batas, Penang, women have found themselves in police detention for theft, after they called authorities regarding a crime it turns out they (allegedly) perpetrated themselves.

According to police, the two women left their place of employment on Monday, ostensibly to deposit RM20,400 (US$5,000) belonging to their employer at a Seberang Perai Utara bank. Shortly thereafter, however, they were on the phone with authorities, claiming the money had been stolen before they could reach their destination.

CCTV footage was available of the alleged robbery, and when cops watched the clip, the whole thing seemed more than a little suspicious. Three suspects who had “robbed” the women were taken in for police questioning, where they were quickly singing, saying the duo had actually paid them to feign a robbery, promising to share RM4,000 (US$1,000) with each of them.

When police then switched their focus to interrogating the women, one of the two cracked, admitting they had staged the whole thing. When asked why, the 53-year-old told officers she had to settle debts with loan sharks.

Alright, Coconauts – while we would never condone committing a crime (we’ve watched Prison Break and it doesn’t look fun), let’s do a little risk assessment over this whole she-bang, shall we?

First things first. Stealing from your employer is a crime, a punishable offense under Malaysian law, namely, Section 420 of the Penal Code, which covers cheating and dishonesty. It’s a crime punishable by a maximum jail term of 10 years, whipping and fine. And people have been found guilty for stealing a lot less.

Also, you’re definitely gonna get fired.

Conclusion: High severity.

So, if you’re going to commit this crime, you better have a watertight story, and it’s probably best to avoid CCTV cameras that give police ample evidence and information to investigate.

More people involved in your crime means more worries for you when it comes to making sure everyone keeps their heads down. Coconauts, have you ever watched Goodfellas and they get to that bit after the big Lufthansa heist? Everyone starts flashing cash, and that stuff calls attention to you. Suddenly, there were a dozen guys to keep in line.

Well, this is a lot like that, albeit on a smaller scale. Who are these three guys you’ve lured into your sordid plan? Can you trust ALL THREE of them to keep their mouths shut under police questioning? We’ll answer that for you – no, you can’t. There’s so much opportunity for actual triangulation during questioning, none of them stand a chance. Really, you should have kept it at one outside accomplice, and made sure they didn’t have plates on their bike.

Conclusion: High likelihood that someone’s gonna spill.

And finally, let’s talk economics: Three guys are getting paid RM4,000 each. You’re already RM12,000 down with only RM8,000 left. Your work friend will probably want a cut, so at this rate, you’re looking at a fraction of that RM20K you initially stuck your neck out on the line for, and more and more this is sounding like a terrible idea.

Conclusion: We’re not liking these numbers.

Do yourself a favor – think of a non-criminal manner to come up with those few thousand you’re actually going to get from all of this. And stay away from loan sharks. Trust us, it ain’t worth it.

This article, Risk and Reward: After Penang woman admits to staging her own robbery, we assess the liabilities, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!