Painter jailed for using fake credit cards to steal from ATMs

Lim Buan Huat, 48, who stole more than $32,000 from ATMs using fake credit cards, pleaded guilty to 20 charges.
Lim Buan Huat, 48, who stole more than $32,000 from ATMs using fake credit cards, pleaded guilty to 20 charges.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A painter and decorator who stole more than $32,000 from ATMs using fake credit cards was jailed for seven and a half years on Friday.

Lim Buan Huat, 48, pleaded guilty to 20 charges and had another 274 taken into consideration during sentencing.

After experiencing financial difficulties in 2013 he joined two men, whose identities he claimed not to know, in operating their illegal business.

He was given around 100 counterfeit credit cards and made withdrawals of between $50 and $500 - totalling $32,800 - on several occasions in February and May last year, though he only got to keep $2,000 in "commission".


Lim Buan Huat, 48, pleaded guilty to 20 charges. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

After being caught making previous illegal withdrawals on CCTV at Citibank, a security guard at its Capital Square branch spotted him using a cashpoint at 10pm on May 14 and called the police.

A total of 90 credit cards, bearing the images of Bank of Montreal and Canada Trust, were found on him.

District Judge Low Wee Ping said: "Twenty years ago, we would have described this as a bank robbery, but today we use technology to rob the bank."

For each charge of theft, Lim could have been jailed for three years and fined. He could have been jailed for 15 years and fined, for each count of possessing a counterfeit bank card.