Third man in $1.4m Apple theft jailed

SINGAPORE - A former delivery assistant involved in stealing $1.4 million of Apple products at Changi Airfreight Centre was sentenced to 12 years in jail and 17 strokes of the cane on Thursday for theft and drug-related offences.

Ong Chip Siong, 32, pleaded guilty to eight charges with 15 more taken into consideration.

Together with Ivan Lee Kah Leong, 34, and Lee Seng Hua, 36, he had stolen 1,930 iPads, 1,464 iPhones and 1,000 pieces of phone casings, cables and accessories at the Dubai National Air Travel Agency Terminal on Sept 18, 2011.

Ong helped to load the shipment, which weighed more than 2,800kg, onto a lorry and drove the vehicle out of the Airfreight Centre.

He received $22,000 for his part.

The stolen goods were sold to a Hong Kong buyer for more than $970,000. Only $390,201 worth of goods have since been recovered.

In July last year, Central Narcotics Bureau officers arrested Ong for drug trafficking, consumption and possession at Kembangan Lodge in Jalan Masjid.

Pleading for leniency on Thursday, lawyer S. S. Dhillon said Ong, who is married with a five-year-old daughter, lacked parental supervision and control in his youth, and lost his mother when he was a child.

He was remorseful and regretted his actions.

For the theft, Ong received one year in jail.

Ivan Lee had earlier received 10 months for his part in the crime, while Lee Seng Hua was given eight months for helping Ong to dispose of stolen property.

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