Man jailed for conspiring to steal 140 laptops, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man jailed for conspiring to steal 140 laptops

A man conspired with a former IT contractor to steal 140 laptops meant for National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) staff and sold them for more than $68,000.

The former contractor, Mohamed Shahrizal Shaik Mohamed, 31, and his accomplice Muhammad Fairuz Jasni, 38, then gambled the proceeds away.

On April 8, Fairuz was sentenced to 34 months’ jail over two charges of abetting house-breaking and theft.

Shahrizal has been charged, and his case is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on April 11.

At the time of the first theft in February 2023, Shahrizal was a desktop support engineer with CTC Global, an IT vendor in charge of buying and installing new laptops and other IT equipment for NCCS. Fairuz is Shahrizal’s friend.

The company bought the laptops at $1,088 each and kept them in an office room in NCCS. The room is usually locked, and CTC Global employees have to get a contractor’s pass and a key from a security desk to enter the room.

On Feb 16, 2023, Fairuz contacted a user on e-commerce platform Carousell who specialises in selling laptops and said he had more than 10 laptops to sell.

When the buyer asked for the origin of the devices, Fairuz said they were from a company which had a surplus of laptops due to a cancelled project.

The next day, Shahrizal and Fairuz stole 10 laptops and sold it to the buyer for $600 each. Court documents did not say how they committed the theft.

On Feb 25, 2023, they stole a second time. Shahrizal went to the office room at noon, packed 25 laptops into two boxes and took them out of the room on a trolley.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min said: “As (Shahrizal) was responsible for deploying laptops to other departments, his actions did not rouse the suspicion of his colleagues.”

Shahrizal then met Fairuz at the NCCS carpark and loaded the boxes into a car. Fairuz then sold the laptops to the same buyer for $15,000 in total.

CTC Global fired Shahrizal three days later due to poor work performance, but that did not deter the two men from stealing again.

They planned for Fairuz to enter the NCCS building. Shahrizal told Fairuz where the office room was and how to get the contractor’s pass and key.

On March 25, 2023, a Saturday, Fairuz managed to get a contractor’s pass using a false name and requested for the key to the office room.

He stole 105 laptops in four trips on that day, and Shahrizal helped to load them onto a van. Fairuz sold them all to the same buyer on the same day for $450 each, or $47,250 in total.

CTC Global staff discovered the missing laptops when they returned to the office the following Monday, and called the police.

The police arrested Fairuz and Shahrizal, who still had $4,500 and $16,000 on them respectively from the crime proceeds.

In the course of investigations, the police recovered 40 out of the 140 laptops which were sold. It is not clear where they recovered those from.

Separately, Fairuz admitted to paying a 17-year-old girl $400 for sexual services, and asking another 16-year-old girl if she wanted to have sex with him. Both offences took place in 2020.

Three other charges relating to theft and one charge of possessing an obscene film were taken into consideration for his sentencing. In total, he was sentenced to 37 months’ jail.