Corrective training for jobless man who masterminded $13k ez-link card scam

SINGAPORE - A jobless man made more than $13,000 through a scam in which he used stolen credit card details to top up ez-link cards which he then refunded for cash.

Mohammed Faizal Zhairudin paid a barman $30 a time to note down the card details of customers before using them to perform the top-ups online.

Faizal, 41, was sentenced to five years' corrective training on Thursday (Sept 20).

He pleaded guilty last month to 20 counts of making unauthorised access to a computer and two counts of forgery for the purpose of cheating involving almost $9,800.

He also admitted to one count of misappropriating a wallet which contained $250 in cash.

The court heard that 252 other charges, mainly for similar offences, were considered during sentencing. Corrective training is a prison regime for repeat offenders without the usual one-third remission for good behaviour.

Faizal has a history of committing mainly property-related offences, including cheating, since 1993.

He came up with the idea for the ez-link card scam in 2008 and roped in bartender Mohamed Sufian Mohamed Sabri, 45 - who was working at Kazbar restaurant in Cuppage Terrace - to help him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh said 29 credit cards were used in the scheme.

Faizal bought 40 ez-link cards and a card reader that accepted them.

He then used his laptop computer to top up the ez-link cards using the stolen details in 2010.

After that, Faizal went to MRT stations where he asked for the cash in the ez-link cards to be refunded.

However, his scam was rumbled when ez-link's vice-president of legal and contracts filed a police report in 2010, stating that someone had been using a stolen credit card to make online top-ups.

For his role in Faizal's scheme and an unrelated drug offence, Sufian was earlier sentenced to seven years' jail and three strokes of the cane.

Among his other offences, Faizal also took a wallet left by a customer at a Punggol petrol station in December 2010, pocketing $250 in cash before handing it back to its owner.

In 2012, he used a friend's NRIC details to fraudulently apply for a credit card.