A Repossessor has been fined $7,500 after he got a friend in the HDB to help him find wanted vehicles by accessing parking information on its computer system.
Lim Han Chai, 57, earned about $100 for every vehicle he repossessed on behalf of financial institutions when the car owners defaulted on loan repayments.
However, the legitimate methods he used limited the number of cars he could find, so he asked HDB officer Mohd Ali Abdul Rahman to access information on season parking and parking offences using his office computer.
Lim admitted to five charges from 2011 under the Computer Misuse Act for instigating Mohd Ali to gain unauthorised access to information. Another 30 charges were taken into consideration.
The prosecution, which had pressed for a jail term, has appealed against the sentence.
According to a written judgment published yesterday, Lim initially tried to locate vehicles using two legitimate methods.
He would use AXS or SAM machines to check for season parking ticket purchases tagged to the car he was looking for.
If the owner had yet to renew the season parking ticket for the coming month, the machines would display the carpark location code for the vehicle. However, Lim would not be able to get the location code if the owner had already renewed the ticket.
His second method was to check the HDB website, which allowed him to monitor outstanding HDB parking offences - but the website would not reveal where the offences were committed.
To improve his chances, Lim decided to ask Mohd Ali to help him find the vehicles he needed to repossess. The pair first met in the 1980s. Lim would send text messages with the vehicle registration numbers to Mohd Ali, who would check the HDB's Integrated Car Park Systems and reply.
Mohd Ali, who did not receive any payment for his help, knew he was allowed access to the system only for official duties. He was jailed for four weeks in March for his role.
This article was first published on June 21, 2014.
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