China national jailed in Singapore for stealing $300 on board SilkAir flight

SINGAPORE - A Chinese national who stole $300 from a passenger on board a SilkAir flight was jailed for 12 months on Friday.

Zhang Chunsheng, 49, admitted to stealing a black backpack containing a wallet with $300 from Mr Low Siow Ling, 49, on board the aircraft flying from Shenzhen, China, to Singapore on March 7 this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang said the native from Jiangsu province was seated beside Mr Low when he removed the victim's backpack from the overhead compartment and walked to the toilet at about 7.50pm.

Two passengers saw this and told the victim to check his belongings. He found his backpack missing.

A few minutes later, Zhang returned from the toilet with the backpack and claimed he had taken the wrong bag. The backpack was returned to the victim, who found $300 missing from his wallet.

Mr Yang said the victim did not confront Zhang about the missing cash, but informed the cabin crew about the incident.

Zhang was arrested at Changi Airport. The three $100 notes were found on him. He initially said the money was his and that he had changed those notes in Shenzhen.

He later admitted to the police that he had taken the money out of greed.

He could have been jailed for up to three years and fined.