Salesman jailed for 14 months for misappropriating 10 mobile phones worth $13,000

SINGAPORE - A salesman who misappropriated 10 mobile phones worth $13,474 was jailed for 14 months on Monday (Oct 30).

Wu Chee Wai, 34, was employed by Telestation Infocomm and stationed at Telestation Go Wireless, a shop at The Centrepoint in Orchard Road, when he committed criminal breach of trust as a servant in early May.

Wu, who joined the company in 2015, was required to sell mobile phones and mobile phone accessories as a salesman at the shop. He also had to do stock-take of the inventory for the company.

Some time in early May, he took home six iPhones and four Samsung phones.

"The accused took the 10 phones in different batches throughout the day so as to avoid detection," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jonathan Trachsel.

Each time, Wu would take a few phones and place them in a plastic bag, which he would then hide inside a cabinet.

He left home that evening with the plastic bags of phones placed in the box of his motorcycle.

Wu has claimed that he sold the 10 mobile phones to a buyer he found through online marketplace Carousell for about $9,000. He claimed that he used all of the money received to pay off debts.

His conduct came to light only during a surprise stock-take conducted by the company's assistant retail manager on June 20.

Four days earlier, Wu had prepared an updated stock-take list which showed that the 10 mobile phones were still in the shop's inventory even though they had already been misappropriated, said DPP Trachsel.

Subsequently, Wu admitted that he had misappropriated the missing phones. He was given until June 21 to make restitution. He failed to do so and gave himself up to the police.

The phones were not recovered and the Carousell purchaser remains unknown.

Wu had two housebreaking convictions in 2008 and was given 5½ years' jail.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw told Wu that whatever financial difficulties he might have, he had to seek help, and not resort to crime and betray the trust of his employer.

Noting that Wu has two young children, the judge told Wu that he should set a good example.

"Let this be a last warning. The next time you come back for this kind of offence, you will qualify for corrective training of at least five years' imprisonment. Make sure you learn your lesson finally and never ever to reoffend," Judge Lim added.

Wu could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust as a servant.