Ex-chauffeur jailed 32 months for role in car scam

A former chauffeur who drove two rental cars to Malaysia that were then sold has become the second man to be jailed over the 2004 scam.

Koh Choon Siong, 40, was sentenced to two years and eight months after he pleaded guilty to two counts of abetment by conspiracy to cheat. Two similar charges were considered during his sentencing.

An accomplice, Lai Kah Goon, 50, recently received the same sentence for similar offences.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Charis Low highlighted that the four offences led to the rental companies losing a total of more than $355,000.

Lai rented a car at L&K Limousine Services on Dec 14, 2004. He was supposed to return the car, worth $85,250, two days later.

Instead, he handed the car over to Koh, who drove it to Malaysia and handed it over to two other conspirators, his uncle Steven Koh Chin Guan and Alvin Ng. The duo, who are still at large, sold the vehicle to unknown buyers.

Lai rented another car worth $120,000 from Motorway Car Rentals on the same day.

He passed the car to Koh, who drove it to Malaysia and delivered it to the same conspirators the next day. Koh claimed he was given $1,000 to $2,000 per car for his role.

Seeking a sentence of at least 32 months yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Charis Low highlighted that the four offences led to the rental companies losing a total of more than $355,000. This is the total value in the four charges.

Only one of the four cars has been recovered.

Koh and company were part of an organised group. While Lai was the "face'' of the scam, Koh was the "link'' between Lai and the other co-conspirators in Malaysia, the court heard.

Koh could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined on each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline 'Ex-chauffeur jailed 32 months for role in car scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe