A former construction worker who withdrew a total of $10,000 from a woman cleaner's bank account was jailed for eight weeks on Monday. Chinese national Yuan Ji Qun, 44, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft and one count of unauthorised access to computer data.
A court heard that within four days in March, he stole a total of $10,000 from his friend, Ms Jiang Dongyu, 36, who was earning about $1,000 as a cleaner. On March 15 while helping her to deposit $2,000 at an ATM, Yuan deliberately dropped her ATM card while taking it out from the machine.
He swapped her ATM card with a discarded one that he had picked up a few days earlier and passed the discarded ATM to her. Subsequently, he went to an ATM near Sims Avenue, keyed in Ms Jiang's PIN number and withdrew $2,000 from her bank account. He knew her PIN as he had peeped and memorized it when helping her to deposit money on numerous occasions.
He then went to a DBS ATM at Park Road where he transferred $5,000 from Ms Jiang's account to his bank account in China. He also withdrew $1,000 each on March 16 and 18. He left Singapore after that and a police gazette was issued for his arrest. When he returned on June 13, he was arrested at Changi Airport. He made restitution of $4,010 to Ms Jiang, who has forgiven him and returned to China. He claimed that he had returned the balance to her in China.