Man jailed for stealing $46k from moneylender to settle gambling debts
A man dressed all in black broke into a moneylender's shop and stole more than $46,000 in cash.
Wong Kok Hing, 42, who was saddled with gambling debts, had borrowed from the company before, so he knew which drawers the money was in.
Yesterday, he was jailed for 28 months after pleading guilty to one charge of house-breaking last month.
He had taken steps to commit the offence and evade detection and it was not done on impulse, Deputy Public Prosecutor Stacey Anne Fernandez told the court.
Closed-circuit TV footage showed Wong loitering outside Magnus Credit, a licensed moneylender in Parklane Shopping Mall last October, wearing black clothes, a black cap and a black mask.
At about 11pm, he was shown forcing open a side door which was locked.
Wearing gloves, he used a screwdriver to pry open drawers at two employees' desks, removing about $46,380 in cash and a mobile phone.
Wong, an operation supervisor then, was identified by the employees because he had taken loans from their company earlier that month.
Seeking a 30-month jail term, which was lowered as Wong made full restitution last week, DPP Fernandez said that if Magnus Credit's staff had not recognised Wong, the police might not have caught him so easily.
In mitigation, defence counsel John Koh said Wong suffered from Tourette syndrome, and a medical report found those with the condition had higher rates of impulse control disorder.
Asking for the mandatory minimum sentence of two years' jail, Mr Koh said the doctor judged Wong to have a low risk of re-offending.
He added that Wong made full restitution voluntarily, cooperated with the authorities and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
In handing down the sentence, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan noted this was Wong's first offence, but he agreed with the prosecution it was premeditated and not a result of his condition.