Jailed for pocketing $27k in cash, cheque found in wallet

Koh Sock Buay was jailed 14 weeks for dishonestly misappropriating $26,822 and trying to bite a police officer's hand.
Koh Sock Buay was jailed 14 weeks for dishonestly misappropriating $26,822 and trying to bite a police officer's hand.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

While walking past a coffee shop in Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, a nurse found a wallet on a chair, and pocketed the cash totalling $20,602 and a cash cheque of $6,220.

Koh Sock Buay, 49, then mailed the identity card, casino membership, several ATM and credit cards as well as the wallet to Mr Lim Teck Hong, 54, in two envelopes.

Four days later - on Jan 9 last year - she tried but could not cash the United Overseas Bank cheque as Mr Lim had informed the bank not to accept it.

Meanwhile, a closed-circuit TV camera at Seafood Garden Coffeeshop had captured her taking the wallet.

The police traced her but when they contacted her on her mobile phone about the missing wallet, she claimed she had not found anything and switched off her phone.

That was on Jan 10.

The next day, the police went to her workplace and interviewed her. After initially denying she took anything, she confessed when questioned further.

She surrendered the cash to the police on Jan 12 last year.

Yesterday, she was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail for dishonestly misappropriating a total of $26,822 and trying to bite the right hand of a police officer on May 16 when she was being arrested at Kim Seng Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP).

Assistant Public Prosecutor Lim Yu Hui told a district court that Koh tried to hurt Station Inspector (SI) Jerald Chua Boon Yao that day when she had gone to the NPP for further questioning.

During the session, SI Chua told her there was a video recorder inside the NPP and asked her to take a seat. Koh insisted on wanting to go to the toilet but SI Chua told her to wait for a woman officer to escort her.

During an exchange of words between them, she managed to slip her right hand out of the handcuffs.

When SI Chua tried to handcuff her again, she resisted and held onto her right wrist with her left hand to stop him from handcuffing her.

When the officer tried to move her right arm to the back, she tried to bite his hand.

Her lawyer Gino Hardial Singh said in mitigation that Koh had a history of psychiatric problems and had an aversion to men after being abused by her father until a very late age.

Koh, he added, suffers from dysthymia or chronic depression.

The court allowed her to settle her personal affairs before starting her jail sentence on Jan 31.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline 'Jailed for pocketing $27k in cash, cheque found in wallet'. Print Edition | Subscribe