'Underpaid' store assistant stole from company

'Underpaid' store assistant stole from company

SINGAPORE - A store assistant, who was unhappy because he believed he was underpaid, broke into the company premises and stole about $11,800.

Yesterday, Mohammad Taufik Mustafa, 44, was jailed for 26 months after admitting to housebreaking and theft of the cash, mainly in Singapore dollars but also in ringgit and yuan, as well as a few cheque books and two Internet bank tokens.

He committed the offence at Premier Carpet at Tai Lee Industrial Building in Jalan Pemimpin, off Marymount Road, at about 9.30pm on May 17 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shen Wanqin told the court that Taufik had been unhappy with the company because he felt it had been underpaying him.

Some time in May last year, he thought of "doing something" to the company.

He told a colleague about his intention on May 17. That evening, he took a cab to the company's premises.

He put on a pair of gloves and tried to force open the wooden main door with a screwdriver. He eventually kicked it open.

He entered the director's office and eventually got away with about $11,800, keeping about $3,570 for himself.

A co-accused's case related to the incident is pending.

Taufik's lawyer, Mr Peter Ezekiel, said his client committed the offence out of a sense of frustration and injustice he felt against his employer.

His employer had underpaid him and owed him about $100.

He said Taufik was given many tasks as a delivery assistant even though he joined the company as a warehouse assistant.

The final straw was when he was passed over for confirmation while the other staff in his batch were confirmed and received pay rises.

Taufik, who has previous convictions for theft, theft in dwelling and forgery, could have been jailed for between two and 14 years for burglary.

This article was first published on January 14, 2015.
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