'Tourists' steal money from donation box

'Tourists' steal money from donation box

They had travelled here from China to steal. Their target? A mosque's donation boxes.

But their plan was foiled by Masjid Sultan executive officer Asmawi Said, 59, who saw CCTV footage of Chinese national Qin Shi Gang, 29, fishing money out of a donation box while his partner Wei Rengu, 30, was pretending to take photographs of the surroundings.

On Friday, the two men were jailed for five months each for stealing $1,719 from the donation boxes.

They had arrived here on Oct 5 and visited the Masjid Sultan mosque at Muscat Street the next day.

Three days later, they returned and attempted to steal but were foiled by a staff member who was observing them closely.

Try again

They went back again on Oct 10 and as they were stealing from the donation boxes, Mr Asmawi confronted them.

Qin fled but Mr Asmawi managed to detain Wei and called the police.

Qin was arrested while trying to leave the country at Changi Airport.

Apart from the $1,719, the police also seized a red folder containing seven metal plates, two metal pieces, a white T-shirt, a laptop bag with a hole cut into the base, a silver torchlight and a mobile phone from the two men.

They could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.

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