Ex-SCDF technology director gets 10 weeks for misappropriating two iPads

Jeganathan Ramasamy was sentenced to 10 weeks' jail for misappropriating two iPads from SCDF. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A senior public servant convicted of misappropriating two iPads was sentenced to 10 weeks' jail on Monday (Nov 16).

Jeganathan Ramasamy was director of the technology department at the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) when he obtained the iPad 2s - worth almost $1,900 in total - from communications company NCS.

He was meant to use them to test mobile applications that NCS was developing for the SCDF. However, he gave one to his daughter and sold the other for $200 to Mr Eric Yap Wee Teck, the current SCDF head who at the time was its senior director of emergency services.

Jeganathan, 63,who held his position from 2007 to 2012, was found guilty of two charges of criminal breach of trust of the iPad 2 at SCDF headquarters at Ubi Avenue in September 2011 after a 10-day trial. He is appealing against his conviction.

After he received the iPads, he sent a message on Sept 26 that year to NCS' then group general manager Wong Soon Nam saying: "Tell me the amount I have to pay."

Mr Wong replied that the iPad 2 "is meant for all the new mobile apps that we are rolling out for SCDF and for you to trial".

In his brief oral grounds last month, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said all three NCS witnesses recalled clearly that Jeganathan had shown some interest in the iPad 2.

They also remembered that he had been told categorically that he would not be able to obtain the iPad at the NCS staff discounted price.

The judge said he could not see how Jeganathan could have been the only one in that Sept 7 meeting who had misunderstood.

Jeganathan claimed he had been handed the iPad 2s for him to buy them in his personal capacity, even though he did not pay any money for them.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hon Yi had sought a sentence of 10 to 12 weeks' jail, citing aggravating factors such as lack of professional integrity, public disquiet and damage to the SCDF's reputation, and loss of confidence in the integrity of the supply and trial process.

Bail of $15,000 has been granted. The maximum penalty for the offence is 20 years' jail and a fine.

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