Restaurant supervisor pocketed customers' cash by altering mode of payment

SINGAPORE - When Fish & Co customers used cash to pay for their meals, restaurant supervisor Razali Rashid would alter the mode of payment to indicate that they had paid by redeeming VIP points instead.

He managed to do this as he had access to the eatery's point-of-sale (POS) system.

He misappropriated $10,726.54 of the restaurant's money in 248 transactions between July 1 and Oct 13, 2015.

Razali, 33, who worked at the Clementi Mall Fish & Co outlet, was later caught and while out on bail, he abused drugs.

He was jailed for five years and five months with five strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Nov 8) for committing these offences.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rebecca Wong said that whenever the restaurant's customers used cash to settle their bills, Razali would take their money, process the transaction and hand them the receipt.

He would then alter the mode of payment recorded in the POS system to give the impression that they had paid for their meals by redeeming VIP points. He then pocketed the cash payments at the end of his shift.

He has made no restitution, the court heard. DPP Wong said that his crime was discovered when a Fish & Co operations executive noticed that the number of VIP points redeemed at the Clementi Mall branch was unusually high - especially when Razali was on duty.

She added that the executive then found that the records tallying the number of redemptions from VIP points "were inconsistent with an external record maintained by an external vendor and that multiple transactions in the internal records had been altered".

Razali finally confessed and the police were notified on Oct 16, 2015.

While out on bail, he was contacted by an undercover Central Narcotics Bureau officer on Oct 25 last year, asking to buy drugs. They agreed to meet at Chinatown Point two days later .

Razali sold him a crystalline substance for $150 which was later found to contain 0.55g of methamphetamine.

He was arrested and more drugs were found in his home later that day. Traces of methamphetamine were also found in his urine sample.

Before handing out the sentence on Wednesday, District Judge Marvin Bay said that Razali's modus operandi of altering the mode of payment from cash to VIP redemption would be easy to accomplish for other cashiers and supervisors given authority over POS systems.

He added: "The sentence should be sufficient to deter like-minded persons who may be tempted to play fast and loose with the payment systems placed within their charge."

Razali pleaded guilty on Nov 3 to one count of criminal breach of trust and three drug-related offences including trafficking. Five other drug charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

For criminal breach of trust, Razali could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.

And for drug trafficking, he could have been jailed for up to 20 years with up to 15 strokes of the cane.