Singapore – A taxi driver was imprisoned for stealing grocery vouchers placed in unlocked letterboxes to “support his pregnant wife”.
Mr R Mohan, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of theft and was sent to jail for five days on Thursday (March 4). Another charge was considered during sentencing, reported channelnewsasia.com.
In October last year, Mr Mohan noticed several letterboxes at Block 1 Holland Close’s void deck were unlocked. He looked around to see if the letterboxes contained anything valuable.
Mr Mohan found two sets of 15 grocery vouchers worth S$10 each in two letterboxes and took them. The grocery vouchers were part of the government’s Budget 2020 financial assistance to Singaporeans for household expenses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The court heard that Mr Mohan used 23 of the 30 vouchers worth S$300 in total on household items and groceries from various supermarkets. His actions came to light on Oct 7, 2020, when one of the victims could not locate his grocery vouchers after checking his letterbox.
When the victim checked with Fei Yue Senior Activity Centre, he was informed that eight of his vouchers had already been redeemed. The man then lodged a police report regarding the missing vouchers.
Mr Mohan was identified as the suspect, and he admitted to the offences, noting he committed the theft as he was in financial need.
He “resorted to stealing others’ vouchers as he had to support his pregnant wife”, despite having already redeemed his own set of 15 vouchers, said Mr Mohan.
For theft, Mr Mohan could have been imprisoned for up to three years, fined, or both.
He was the latest to be jailed for grocery voucher theft. In January this year, a food delivery rider pleaded guilty to stealing vouchers worth S$450. The woman used an improvised device consisting of a pen, fishing hook, and sticky tape to pick up the grocery vouchers from three letterboxes.
A man was also sentenced to one month’s jail in the same month for stealing vouchers worth S$600. He had burned some as an offering for his late wife.
Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah told Parliament in November that by the end of October last year, a total of 229 sets of vouchers worth S$150 each were reported stolen. There have been 55 arrests made under the offence./TISG
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