Jail for man who misappropriated jewellery worth $250,000

SINGAPORE - An unemployed woman handed $250,000 worth of jewellery to a man who had promised to help her find buyers.

Lim Chiew Guan later told the 55-year-old woman that he had instead used the valuables for an "investment" without her approval.

When she asked for their return, he made up excuses and did not hand them over.

On Friday (Oct 30), Lim, 40, pleaded guilty to one count each of dishonest misappropriation of property and criminal breach of trust.

The Singaporean was sentenced to 20 months and a week's jail.

The court heard that he has not made any restitution and the jewellery has not been recovered.

Deputy Public Prosecutor V. Jesudevan said that the woman had owned a diamond ring worth $200,000 and a diamond-encrusted bangle valued at $50,000.

It was not mentioned in court documents why she wanted to sell them but she had asked for Lim's help to look for buyers in April 2017.

He told her that he would hand over the proceeds after selling the jewellery.

When they met two months later, Lim told her that he had used the jewellery for an "investment".

The DPP said: "The complainant expressed her surprise because she had never given any approval for him to do so. She asked the accused to return her jewellery. However, the accused kept coming up with excuses and did not return (it)."

In November 2017, Lim told the woman that he managed to sell one of the items but did not hand her any cash.

She lodged a police report on Nov 20 that year.

In an unrelated incident, Lim was at Suntec City shopping mall at around 10pm on Nov 15, 2017, when he found a bank card belonging to a 38-year-old woman.

About 30 minutes later, he found a 21-year-old woman's NRIC.

Instead of handing them over to the authorities, Lim decided to keep them.

On Dec 15, 2017, a policeman attended to a dispute involving Lim. Details of this dispute were not mentioned in court documents.

The officer searched him and found the two cards in his possession.

For committing criminal breach of trust involving the jewellery, Lim could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.