Gang stole $2m in computer chips
3 jailed for stealing cargo from Changi freight terminal last year
The cargo would arrive at its destination, but parts of it would be found missing.
And for over four months last year, about $2 million worth of computer chips were stolen from airport cargo.
It turned out that this spate of thefts was an inside job by airport logistics workers with various firms.
Yesterday, three of the five men involved appeared in court and admitted to stealing expensive computer chips from the Changi Airfreight Terminal between September and December last year.
Visvanathan Munusamy, 34, was sentenced to 32 months' jail for two counts of theft, with one other similar charge taken into consideration.
Brothers Devakumar Allagandran Chettiar, 18, and Janagarajan Allagandran, 19, were also each jailed 20 months and one week for two charges of theft and two counts of providing false information to police officers each.
Two others - Arumugam Chettiar Allagappa and Jeevanraju Muniandy - are on the run.
All the men are Malaysians.
Between the five, they made off with about $2 million worth of computer chips.
On one of these occasions on Sept 24 last year, Visvanathan, who was then a warehouse worker with Schenker Logistics, saw a shipment of computer chips being prepared for shipment out of Singapore.
He then phoned Arumugam, who was then working for Aerolog Logistics.
Arumugam then instructed Visvanathan to inform him when the cargo was about to leave.
He also enlisted the help of his nephew, Janagarajan, and instructed him to drive his car to work that night.
Janagarajan obeyed, and his brother tagged along.
The next morning at about 4am, Visvanathan met Arumugam at the Changi Airfreight Terminal 3, where the cargo was about to be shipped off.
Meanwhile, Devakumar peeled off a security label, which enabled shipments to leave the terminal without raising suspicions, from a separate cargo box and handed it to his brother.
Janagarajan then drove a forklift to the terminal, where Visvanathan undid the plastic sheets of the targeted pallet.
Visvanathan removed six cartons of computer chips and packed them into a wooden skid.
Janagarajan then pasted the security labels on the stolen cargo, before driving them on the forklift to where he was supposed to meet Visvanathan and Arumugam.
After loading the stolen computer chips - which were worth $493,830 - into Arumugam's car, the men went home.
A few days later, Arumugam handed Visvanathan RM$6,000 (S$2,300) as payment.
The court heard that Visvanathan and the two brothers worked together on another heist on Dec 31 last year. They made off with $423,150 worth of stolen computer chips.
Visvanathan also separately stole computer chips on Sept 16. Similarly, the two brothers were separately involved in another heist with their uncle on Dec 22.
The court also heard that the two brothers had lied to the police about the heists.
Yesterday in court, District Judge Carrie Chan told Visvanathan that he had abused the trust placed in him as a worker who handled high-value items.
She also noted Devakumar's age and that this was his first offence. But she said she had to impose a custodial sentence due to the high value of the stolen goods.
They could have been jailed up to seven years and fined for each charge of theft-in-dwelling.