Policeman jailed for filching cash from lost wallets

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
FILE PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A policeman attached to a neighbourhood police centre pocketed a total of $207 from three lost wallets, a court heard.

At the State Courts on Wednesday (25 March), the errant cop Isaac Lim Jun Cheng, 24, was jailed for three months after he pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust as an employee.

Lim was attached to the Pasir Ris Neighbourhood Police Centre. On 18 November 2018, a woman reported the loss of her wallet contain $180, among other things. She had last seen the wallet while having lunch with a friend at Changi Village Hawker Centre two days earlier.

Unknown to her, a passer-by later found the wallet and passed it to a drinks stall owner. He looked at the NRIC in the wallet and recognised the woman as a regular customer of his. He kept the wallet with the intention to return it to her when he saw her. Later, he passed it to his son who went to the woman’s house, but no one was home.

On 26 November 2018, the drinks stall owner brought the wallet to the neighbourhood police centre. Lim attended to the man and told him that he could leave the wallet with him. Afterwards, Lim pocketed the cash inside the wallet. He didn’t lodge a report to document receiving the wallet like he was supposed to.

The errant cop then called the owner of the wallet and told her that it had been found. When she realised that her money was missing, she asked Lim about it. But he lied that the wallet had been found by the roadside, so that she wouldn’t suspect him of taking the cash.

Later, the woman bumped into the drinks stall owner at the hawker centre. He brought up the topic of her wallet and she told him about the missing money. He then told her that he had seen cash inside the wallet when he handed it over to the police.

On 1 January last year, the woman made a police report about the missing cash.

Investigations further revealed that on 11 June and 11 August 2018, Lim had also taken cash from two other wallets handed over to him at the neighbourhood police centre involving a total of at least $27.

On both occasions, he lodged reports to document the receipt of the wallets but omitted to mention the cash in the wallets.

Lim spent the $207 he wrongfully pocketed on personal expenses.

He has been suspended from duty since January last year.

The maximum punishment for criminal breach of trust as an employee is up to 15 years’ jail along with a fine.

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore

Other Singapore stories:

Lawrence Wong breaks down while paying tribute to 'unsung heroes' fighting COVID-19

COVID-19: Public can inform police about those who breach stay-home notice – Shanmugam

COVID-19: No decision has been made on timing of next GE – Teo Chee Hean

COVID-19: Singapore conducts 6,800 tests per million people, higher rate than S Korea, Taiwan – Gan Kim Yong