Singapore – A Grab driver ran off with the passports, luggage, and possessions of a Malaysian family, costing them thousands of dollars and weeks of unnecessary stress.
A Malaysian family went on holiday in Singapore last January 2019. They were scheduled to return to New Zealand, where they are living, and so booked a Grab car going to Changi Airport.
Perhaps due to the busy day, the family accidentally left behind their black backpack in the Grab car. The bag contained six passports, three ID cards, two birth certificates, a marriage certificate, RM500 (S$163), several foreign currencies, and a Vodaphone Smart Ultra phone. The contents of the backpack were worth around S$1,000.
The family, Ms Ngui How Ing along with her husband and two children, immediately called Grab to report the incident. They then reported the loss to the police.
When Grab called the driver, Christopher Chan Fook Choy, he lied about not finding the bag in the car. He threw away the passports and other important documents into a garbage chute and exchanged the foreign currencies in a money changer. He got S$850 out of it.
Ms Ngui and her family went through a stressful three-week ordeal in order to retrieve their lost documents. They had to return to Malaysia to get new passports, birth certificates, and identification cards. Then, they went back to Singapore to apply for new residency visas before they could return home to New Zealand.
Police caught the runaway driver in May and recovered the phone and the foreign currencies. All other documents were lost and destroyed.
Chan has pleaded guilty to a charge of “dishonest misappropriation of movable property.” He was sentenced to a mere three weeks jail time, as Today reported. The driver also needs to pay the family S$7,763—the cost of which covers the family’s passport and document replacement but perhaps not enough to compensate them for their lost time and stressful recovery.
Netizens were furious and expressed their dismay at the driver’s seemingly light sentence of three weeks in jail. Others commented that his actions give all other Grab drivers a bad reputation./TISG