Technical assistant jailed for pawning off 37 iPads from Maris Stella High School

Sheik Samir Abdul Rahim was jailed for 12 months for misappropriating 37 iPads from Maris Stella High School and pawning them off for cash.
Sheik Samir Abdul Rahim was jailed for 12 months for misappropriating 37 iPads from Maris Stella High School and pawning them off for cash. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A technical assistant working at Maris Stella High School misappropriated 37 iPads and pawned them off for cash, a court heard.

Sheik Samir Abdul Rahim, 27, even removed a tracking software on the Apple tablets, so that he would not be caught.

On Tuesday (Oct 11), he was jailed for 12 months after he pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust as a servant.

A district court heard that Samir's job required him to loan out iPads to students and teachers at Maris Stella High School, an autonomous, government-aided and Catholic all-boys school.

The school kept its 100 iPads in two locked carts.

Samir was one of four persons who had access to the iPads, the court heard.

"When a student or teacher wished to borrow an iPad, Samir was to issue the iPad and prepare a loan form to keep track of the movement of the iPads," said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Randeep Singh Koonar.

"Sometime in July 2016, Samir was in need of money. He came up with a plan to take iPads belonging to the school from the two locked carts in the school and to pawn them off for cash," said the DPP.

"Samir was confident that he would not get caught because an external audit had been conducted at the school one week before he began taking the iPads and all the iPads were found to be accounted for.

"Moreover, he knew that he could remove the iCloud software from the iPads to prevent them from being tracked by the school, which he did.

"For this same reason, he decided against misappropriating the Apple MacBook computers belonging to the school as he knew that they could be easily tracked," added DPP Singh.

Between July 1 and Aug 10, Samir took 37 iPads worth a total of $26,770.98 and pawned them off at various shops. He got at least $4,390 in cash.

But on Aug 18, a teacher at the school made a police report stating that the school was undergoing an audit and had discovered that 37 iPads had been unaccounted for.

The teacher fingered Samir as a possible suspect.

The police have recovered only four of the iPads, worth $2,894 in total.

Samir has not paid the school any money for the iPads he misappropriated.

The maximum punishment for criminal breach of trust as a servant is 15 years' jail and a fine.