Eight months' jail for former delivery driver who misappropriated cash, mobile phones

Derrick Tan misappropriated cash amounting to $18,555 and 16 mobile phones amounting to a total trade-in value of $3,850 while working for Ninja Van. PHOTO: NINJA VAN

SINGAPORE - A former Ninja Van delivery driver, who was in debt to loan sharks, pocketed over $18,000 in cash that he had collected for the company.

He also misappropriated mobile phones which customers of the e-commerce delivery firm wanted to trade-in, and sold them on online marketplace Carousell.

Derrick Tan Jian Sheng, 35, was jailed for eight months on Wednesday (Aug 19), after pleading guilty to a charge of criminal breach of trust.

Court documents said Tan started working as a delivery driver for Ninja Van in April 2018 and his duties included collecting cash payments from customers after making deliveries of the items they had ordered.

When customers opt to trade in a mobile phone to off-set the payment for an order, Tan was responsible for checking its condition before collecting it.

If the mobile phone was deemed unacceptable as a trade-in, Tan was supposed to collect cash from the customer equal to its trade-in value.

He was also required to hand over to Ninja Van the cash or mobile phones collected within 24 hours of making the deliveries.

Between May 22 and June 11, 2018, Tan misappropriated cash amounting to $18,555 and 16 mobile phones amounting to a total trade-in value of $3,850.

His offences came to light after Ninja Van's finance department discovered multiple discrepancies arising from his deliveries and informed his manager on June 8, 2018.

The manager arranged to meet Tan three days later to work out the discrepancies and recover the amount unaccounted for.

But Tan did not turn up for the meeting and ignored the manager's attempts to reach him, Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Teh told the district court on Wednesday.

He was eventually traced to a hotel in Shenton Way using the Global Positioning System installed in the company van assigned to him, the DPP said.

Tan confessed to pocketing the cash and mobile phones after being confronted by the manager and another supervisor at the hotel.

Court documents stated that he used the cash to repay debts to loan sharks, and sold the phones on Carousell. He has made only $200 in restitution so far.

In mitigation, Tan's lawyer Ms Shehzhadee Rahman said that her client's financial situation made it impossible for him to compensate the company fully.

Urging District Judge John Ng to jail Tan for eight months, DPP Teh said that Tan misappropriated a large sum of money over a short period of time.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Ninja Van told The Straits Times that Tan is no longer working for the company.

He could have been jailed for 15 years and fined for the offence.

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