SINGAPORE: A former Ninja Van delivery driver was sentenced to 15 weeks' jail on Tuesday (Aug 17) for misappropriating dozens of parcels worth S$34,000 that he marked as missing and placed in his mother-in-law's home.
When courier company Ninja Van caught wind of the crimes and police went to Muhammad Nur Sheqal Azis' home, they found more than 100 stolen items pilfered over about five months.
Sheqal, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust by dishonest misappropriation.
The court heard that Sheqal had been making deliveries for Ninja Van for about one-and-a-half years when he began stealing items from the company.
He would first collect the parcels meant for delivery from warehouse personnel. However, he would skip the mandated step of scanning each item individually with his phone before delivery.
The company trusted him to scan the items as he had been working there for some time and there was no one to countercheck his actions, the prosecutor said.
Sheqal would report the items as missing to his supervisor, before placing them in his work van and driving to his mother-in-law's house, where he stored them temporarily.
He would later transfer the stolen items from his mother-in-law's home to his own for safekeeping.
He began doing this from around June 2019 until Nov 13, 2019. His actions went undetected at first as there was "too much movement in the warehouse which made it difficult for Ninja Van to trawl through the CCTV footage", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Phoebe Tan.
The stolen items were also fairly small, exacerbating the difficulties in detection.
In October 2019, the company realised there was an increasing number of items being reported missing. A manager at Ninja Van, Ms Li Mengxia, conducted a check and realised that the missing items were tagged to Sheqal.
She decided to confirm her suspicions on Nov 13, 2019, by placing her spare personal phone for delivery under Sheqal's delivery sector.
There was no Airway Bill tagged to her phone, and Sheqal should have returned the parcel to his fleet supervisor if this was the case.
However, he did not follow the protocol. Ms Li later confronted the accused and asked if any such parcels were routed to him, but he claimed there were none that day.
She checked his van and found the parcel with the spare phone inside. When she asked him if he intended to take the phone for his personal gain, and if he had taken other parcels due for delivery, Sheqal denied it.
The company lodged a police report. Sheqal eventually confessed his crimes to the police and led them to his home.
A total of 106 items worth S$34,035 were uncovered from his home. These were largely tech-related items such as phones and accessories, tablets, watches and wireless speakers.
The most expensive items he took were Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ phones worth S$1,598 each.
A spokesperson for Ninja Van told CNA on Wednesday that the company fired Sheqal once they discovered the offences.
The prosecutor sought a jail term of between four and six months. The judge allowed Sheqal to begin serving his jail term at the end of the month.
He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for criminal breach of trust.