Man jailed for theft of 75 Universal Studios tickets from employer

SINGAPORE - A travel agency operations coordinator who stole 75 Universal Studios Singapore (USS) tickets from his employer was jailed for four months on Thursday.

Muhammad Syawal Kamis, 25, now unemployed, admitted to the theft of the tickets worth $4,425 when he was working at Ace Tours and Travel at People's Park Complex, Upper Cross Street, on Nov 15 last year.

A district court heard that he was asked by his senior that day to get some tickets from the cupboard in the manager's room. When he opened the cupboard, he saw many stacks of tickets.

He took the tickets asked for and left the room.

Shortly after, he was asked to take out more tickets. This time, he took one stack of USS tickets in addition to the ones he had been asked to get.

He went into the toilet and split the 75 stolen tickets into two piles - made up of 25 and 50 tickets. He had wanted to return the 50 tickets but had no chance to.

When he returned home, he put up an online advertisement to sell 10 USS tickets at $50 each, and managed to sell 19 for $950.

When the agency's managing director Tay Chung Hong, 45, found out about the 75 missing USS tickets, seven had already been used. The remaining ticket holders were denied entry into USS.

Two days later, Syawal received a message from his senior asking if he had taken the USS tickets, and saying that their employer wanted to lodge a police report.

Feeling guilty and scared, Syawal put the remaining 56 tickets into a plastic bag and threw them down the rubbish chute from his unit.

Syawal, who is married with a baby boy, has previous convictions for robbery, criminal breach of trust, theft and cheating.

His lawyer Amarick Gill said his client was remorseful and should not have thrown away the other tickets.

District Judge John Ng told Syawal that he was still young, and advised him to live not just for himself, but to think about his wife, and more importantly, his child.

He said the prosecution had been very fair to him, adding: "I do hope this is the last time I see you for being charged in court."

Syawal, who had another charge taken into consideration, could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

elena@sph.com.sg