Ex-Starhub shop manager jailed for misappropriating 847 phones

Affected by his marriage breakdown, a former StarHub shop manager claimed he "went crazy" and dishonestly misappropriated 847 mobile phones from his employer. 

For that, 44-year-old Chong Siam was jailed five and a half years' today. 

He pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal breach of trust, involving $519,554 worth of mobile phones. 

Three other similar counts were taken into consideration. 

Chong was in charge of operations at his outlet during the time of the offenses, which took place from 2007 to 2010.

He had access to the shop's inventory of phones and had the authority to bypass certain company procedures. 

The bald man, who was steeped in gambling debt, decided to devise a ruse to pay them off. 

His mode of operation included abusing his knowledge of StarHub's procedures to obtain new mobile phones. 

Chong then sold the phones to a second hand phone dealer for cash. 

His offenses only came to light in 2011 during record checks. 

Chong was then confronted by StarHub's management where he confessed. 

The court heard that he has not made any restitution to date. 

In mitigation, Chong, who is not represented, apologised to his former employer and colleagues. 

Pleading for leniency, Chong said he was facing a "difficult time" and wanted to "restart life again". 

District Judge Ms Jasvender Kaur noted this, but chastised Chong for exploiting the trust that his employer had in him. 

She also emphasized the significant amount of handphones and money involved. 

For criminal breach of trust, Chong could have been jailed up to seven years and fined on each charge.