Changi Airport auxiliary cop went on shopping spree with cards from lost wallets

Christine Tan
The Straits Times
Feb 28, 2024

Instead of reporting two lost wallets that he came across, an auxiliary police officer working at Changi Airport went on a shopping spree with the credit and debit cards found in them.

On Feb 28, Giong Chun Yong, 46, was sentenced to 13 months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to three charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust by a public servant.

Three other charges of cheating and dishonest misappropriation of property were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Giong was an armed auxiliary officer with the Singapore Airport Terminal Services (Sats) at the time of the offences.

The first offence happened on July 19, 2023, at around 7am. Giong was on his way back to the control room at the end of his shift at Terminal 3 when he saw a brown wallet under one of the seats along the boarding gates and pocketed it.

The wallet belonged to a Bulgarian woman who had landed at Changi Airport the previous day.

On his way home, Giong looked through the wallet and found cash and two credit cards from Westpac, a financial institution that provides services in various countries, including New Zealand.

He removed the cash and cards and threw away the wallet.

The same day, he used one of the cards to buy items such as watches, a mobile phone and a mountain bicycle.

He also purchased groceries and furniture items, and a gold baby anklet. In total, he spent about NZ$2,285 (S$1,967).

Giong also spent about $72 on drinks and groceries with the other credit card.

The Bulgarian woman made a police report after receiving multiple notifications from her bank about numerous transactions made with her credit cards.

Four days after he found the first wallet, Giong was working at Terminal 3 when a member of the public handed him a grey wallet that had been found.

Giong checked through the wallet and took one debit card. He then passed the wallet back to the member of the public, who did not see him taking the card, and asked the latter to leave the wallet with the staff at the information counter.

After work that day, he used the debit card to buy his wife birthday gifts worth $726 from jewellery brand Pandora, then threw the card away.

The debit card and grey wallet belonged to a retail assistant at the airport’s departure terminal. The police were notified when he realised his wallet was missing.

Giong was arrested on Oct 9, 2023. He has since made full restitution to both victims. ST understands he resigned from Sats in November 2023.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Kai asked for between 14 and 18 months’ jail for Giong, noting that general deterrence is the primary sentencing principle for such cases.

Giong, who did not have a lawyer and went to court with his wife, pleaded for leniency through a Mandarin interpreter.

He said he was the sole breadwinner in the family, and their finances were tight, as his wife recently lost almost $50,000 in a scam.

During his mitigation, both Giong and his wife were wiping away tears.

Addressing Giong before handing down his sentence, District Judge Kok Shu-En said: “The offences you have committed are serious offences.

“It is aggravating that you were an auxiliary police officer. So you really should have known better.”

For each count of cheating, Giong could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

The offence of criminal breach of trust by a public servant carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine.

The Straits Times

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