SINGAPORE - A driver was sentenced to three months' jail on Tuesday (Oct 19) for modifying the in-vehicle unit (IU) of his motorcycle, which had a season parking permit, and using it in his car to avoid paying additional parking fees.
Over a period of nearly nine months, Goh Zi Zhao, 41, evaded paying about $3,400 in parking fees to the Housing Board (HDB) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
According to court documents, the Singaporean had evaded the parking fees of HDB-operated carparks on a total of 545 occasions between Sept 2, 2018, and May 21, 2019.
Goh had pleaded guilty to one charge of cheating and another of replacing the IU without authorisation. Two other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Drivers use stored-value cards in the IUs installed in motor vehicles to pay parking fees. Each IU has a unique serial number, and motorcycles are issued with a different type of IU compared with cars.
Goh's offences came to light when ST Electronics, which was engaged by HDB to manage the multi-storey carpark in Senja Road near Bukit Panjang, conducted an audit in September 2018.
It detected multiple occasions of Goh's car entering the carpark but not exiting it.
Footage from the closed-circuit television (CCTV) at the entry and exit points of the carpark showed Goh's car leaving the carpark on each occasion but the corresponding IU number recorded by the system was that of his motorcycle.
Goh had bought a valid concessionary season parking ticket for his motorcycle at a cost of $20 per month.
Since there was a season pass for the motorcycle, he was able to drive the car out of the carpark each time without having to pay a parking fee.
Goh admitted to removing the original IU from his motorcycle, illegally modifying it by connecting it to an external battery, and then using it in his car, the court heard.
He made full restitution to the HDB and URA on Sept 3.
For cheating, he could have been jailed for up to three years or fined, or both.
Those convicted of replacing an IU installed in a motor vehicle without authorisation can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to $2,000, or both.