Drunk man's card used to steal $13,000

A MAN, who took advantage of the drunken stupor of someone he had just met to make illegal transactions and withdrawals of almost $13,000 from his bank account, was jailed for 22 weeks yesterday.

Vickneswaran Sivan, 24, was introduced to the victim on Nov 21.

Around midnight, Vickneswaran took a taxi to Orchard Towers with Indian national Shakthikalu Manjappa Gopalakrishna, 34, who had dozed off on the way there.

When they got there, Vickneswaran woke him up so he could pay for their fare and Mr Shakthikalu handed the cabby his POSB ATM card.

Vickneswaran noted the card's personal identification number after the victim keyed it in on the machine. He then took the POSB card back from the driver without Mr Shakthikalu noticing.

When they got out, Vickneswaran walked swiftly away from Mr Shakthikalu, a technician, and went to withdraw money from the POSB savings account. After performing the transaction, the victim was no longer in sight.

Vickneswaran then continued using the card up till 4.26am, making cash withdrawals and performing electronic fund transfers into his own accounts and to pay bills at an AXS machine. The victim's loss came up to $12,806.

The court heard that Vickneswaran committed the offences as he was in financial distress and owed money to various organisations and moneylenders.

Vickneswaran pleaded guilty to five of 15 charges of theft and computer misuse. The maximum penalty for theft is three years in jail and a fine. For computer misuse, it is $5,000 and two years' jail on each charge.

This article was first published on Mar 17, 2015.
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