Cabby fined $3k for taking donated items

SINGAPORE - A taxi driver caught carrying off donated items from the Salvation Army claimed that he wanted to sell them and use the money to take care of stray cats.

But that did not save Neo Swee Hock, 54, from being fined $3,000 on Wednesday for misappropriating the donations, the value of which was not specified.

The TransCab taxi driver is also the owner of Jumbo Profit Trading, which deals in second-hand goods.

A district court heard that a security officer who was monitoring surveillance video noticed Neo driving into the charity's premises in Upper Changi Road North at about 3.15am on July 10.

He was then seen putting on a cap before taking several bags and boxes of donated items out of the booth and putting them into his taxi.

When the officer and a colleague went to check, they saw that the booth had been cleaned out. All the donated items were in the boot and on the rear passenger seats of the taxi.

At first, Neo claimed that he had come to donate the items.

When told about the video showing him carrying the goods into his taxi, he apologised.

He returned the items to the booth and pleaded with the officers not to notify the police before driving off. However, the building manager lodged a police report that evening and Neo was arrested.

The maximum punishment for misappropriation is a $10,000 fine and a two-year jail term.

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