Jail for manager who stole S$634,000 of fees paid by travelers at Woodlands Checkpoint for COVID-19 tests

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Over five months, a manager for Parkway Shenton misappropriated more than S$634,000 from payments collected from travelers at Woodlands Checkpoint for COVID-19 tests.

Jacob Quek Kuan Liat, 41, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ jail on Friday (Jul 29) after pleading guilty to an amalgamated charge of criminal breach of trust by an employee.

The offences took place more than half a year after Quek started working as a checkpoint manager for the healthcare provider in June 2020.

One of his responsibilities was to collect the payments from travelers arriving from Malaysia for COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction tests.

Each PCR test cost S$160. The cash proceeds from the night shift and day shift would be collated and handed over for banking into Parkway Shenton’s account.

Between Jan 28, 2021 and Jun 16, 2021, Quek misappropriated the proceeds to sustain his gambling addiction, using it to place football bets.

He would then return money to Parkway Shenton if he won. He made more than S$180,000 in voluntary restitution this way.

The offences were discovered when Quek turned himself in at a neighborhood police center on Jun 22, 2021.

The prosecutor asked for 42 to 45 months’ jail, highlighting the substantial amount of money that Quek misappropriated.

The judge said it was aggravating that Quek stole the money to feed his gambling addiction.

But he also noted that Quek had surrendered himself to the police, paid back about 30 percent of the stolen money, and signed an agreement to repay the rest after his release.

The punishment for criminal breach of trust as an employee is up to 15 years’ jail and a fine.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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