3 logistics workers jailed for theft of computer chips worth $2m

Logistics workers (from left) Visvanathan Munusamy, Janagarajan Allagandran and Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar stole chips worth more than $2 million.
Logistics workers (from left) Visvanathan Munusamy, Janagarajan Allagandran and Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar stole chips worth more than $2 million.
Logistics workers (from left) Visvanathan Munusamy, Janagarajan Allagandran and Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar stole chips worth more than $2 million.
Logistics workers (from left) Visvanathan Munusamy, Janagarajan Allagandran and Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar stole chips worth more than $2 million.
Logistics workers (from left) Visvanathan Munusamy, Janagarajan Allagandran and Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar stole chips worth more than $2 million.
Logistics workers (from left) Visvanathan Munusamy, Janagarajan Allagandran and Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar stole chips worth more than $2 million.

Three logistics workers were jailed yesterday over the theft of computer chips worth more than $2 million.

The scheme, executed on four occasions last year, involved removing and pasting clearance labels onto cartons of goods earmarked to be stolen.

This allowed the loot, none of which was recovered, to be driven out of the Changi Airfreight Centre without arousing suspicion.

Visvanathan Munusamy, 33, and brothers Janagarajan Allagandran, 19, and Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar, 18, were each sentenced to jail terms of between 20 months and a week, and 32 months.

The three men, Malaysians here on work permits, were all involved in two of the jobs involving $921,989 worth of chips.

On one of these occasions, on Dec 31 last year, Visvanathan identified cartons containing $423,150 worth of chips to steal. He alerted the brothers' uncle, Arumugam Chettiar Allagappa, and together with Janagarajan later loaded them onto a forklift.

This was driven by Janagarajan to a meeting point, where Devakumar stuck a clearance label meant for other cargo onto the goods. The goods were then moved onto a lorry and driven away from the area by Arumugam Chettiar.

Visvanathan and the two brothers were also involved in two separate heists last year.

The 33-year-old stole $411,525 worth of computer chips, while the brothers whisked away $728,656 in stolen goods.

District Judge Carrie Chan noted the thefts had occurred in a sensitive area and the high value of the items involved.

After admitting to various charges, Visvanathan received a 32-month term, while the brothers each got 20 months and a week in jail. The one-week terms were for lying to the police over the matter.

The maximum penalty for theft in dwelling is a jail term of seven years and a fine.

pohian@sph.com.sg