Man jailed for stealing $74,000 worth of computer chips from his employer

SINGAPORE - A worker who stole computer chips worth almost $74,000 from his then-employer to raise money for his father's medical bills was jailed for 21 months on Friday.

Materials handler Gobinath Govindasamy, 34, pleaded guilty to taking more than 48,000 integrated circuit chips from the United Test & Assembly Centre on March 21, none of which were recovered.

He received half of the $30,816 in proceeds generated from selling the loot, but has not made any restitution to the manufacturer.

The court heard Gobinath enlisted the help of cleaner Sebastin Baskar to help take the chips out of the firm's premises.

At about 8.30pm that evening he repacked the chips and passed them to Sebastin, who hid them in a cleaner's trolley and pushed it towards the rubbish compactor outside, where Gobinath was waiting with his car.

Sebastin loaded the chips into the vehicle, which Gobinath drove to Johor Bahru after his shift. There, he handed them to another man, Muhamad Sabani Amir, 31, who got three others to help him sell them.

Sebastin, a 25-year-old Indian national, did not receive the $5,778 cut he was promised. He received 18 months in jail last month, while Muhamad Sabini's case is still pending. The three other accomplices are still at large.

Gobinath could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

pohian@sph.com.sg