Representational Image arrest
Reuters

A 23-year-old engineer was sentenced to two years of jail term on Monday after the court found him guilty of stealing S$62,000 worth of laptops and other computer items while working for the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore.

The convict Soh Jun Sheng was working with the IT company NCS since March 26, 2018. The Malaysian and Singapore Permanent Resident joined the company while he was out on a bail for trespassing a house in Chiselhurst Grove to steal electronic items worth S$4,650 on November 16, 2017.

The court documents stated that Soh was responsible for providing IT support to IMDA as directed by the NCS service desk that includes the issue or change of laptops for IMDA employees.

The convict also had access to IMDA's few secure rooms, where computers and accessories were kept. As reported Soh decided to steal these computer items to pay off debts to his father, close friend and the bank.

The court also heard that within weeks of joining the company, the convict stole items from IMDA, including 30 Lenovo ThinkPad laptops, 25 laptop bags, six iPads, six Lenovo monitors, 17 docking stations, 80 Lenovo power adaptors and 32 Lenovo mice.

While playing smart, Soh formatted the drives of seven stolen laptops so that he could easily get rid of the security system, installed by IMDA and sell them outside.

However, after an IT associate from NCS lodged a police complaint, the officers arrested the Soh on June 4, 2018. When the police officials conducted a raid at the residence of the accused, they found numerous computer devices and accessories, some of which were his own. Further investigation revealed that by that time Soh has already sold several computer items on Carousell under his username "1sell2buy" and earned about S$28,000.

Police recovered all the sold items from the buyers except two Lenovo power adaptors, which the buyer sent overseas.

On Monday, during the court hearing the accused pleaded guilty to nine charges, which includes criminal breach of trust, theft and several charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act. However, another 15 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

While the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Hsiao Tien sought for at least two years of jail term and pointed out that these offences took place when Soh was out on bail and top of that he did not make any restitution for the stolen items, the defence lawyer Henry Lim asked for 20 to 22 months of imprisonment stating that his client had gambling disorder.

But, the District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim agreed to prosecution's submission and ordered the stolen items to be returned to their rightful owners. She also granted the request made by the defence lawyer to let Soh have a word with his father before serving the sentence.