Poh Heng repairs supervisor jailed for pawning its jewellery
A former jewellery repairman at Poh Heng Jewellery was jailed for 19 months for misappropriating more than 100 pieces of jewellery to fund his gambling habit.
Tan Chee Hoo, 56, had worked for the company for 36 years, and pleaded guilty yesterday to one charge of criminal breach of trust.
As a repairs supervisor, Tan would oversee the repairs and had custody of the jewellery in his workshop.
From Dec 16 to Dec 21 last year, Tan took two gold bangles, one gold pendant, and 16 gold bracelets to Megacash Corp, a pawnshop in Bedok, and pawned them.
He did so again 10 more times between Jan 8 and Jan 20 this year. He took an assortment of jewellery, including gold chains, gold earrings, and gold diamond bracelets and pawned them.
In all, he misappropriated just over $98,000 worth of jewellery, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Samyata Ravindran.
"None of the other employees questioned the accused when he took the jewellery, because he was their supervisor," said DPP Samyata.
Tan intended to use the money he received from pawning off the jewellery to continue gambling, recoup his losses, pay off his debts and redeem the jewellery he had pawned off.
On Jan 20, he realised he would not be able to redeem the jewellery and had no choice but to come clean.
He then told the human resources manager about what he did and Poh Heng had to redeem all the jewellery back.
He was then fired from his job.
When questioned by District Judge Marvin Bay on how much debt he had, Tan said it was "hundreds of thousands".
He added he was very remorseful for his actions.
Judge Bay said Tan had egregiously abused the trust of his company, and added it was fortunate Poh Heng was able to redeem the items he had pawned.