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Two men accused of stealing from money changer taken off flight at Changi Airport and arrested

The suspects were arrested after a money changer reported the theft of about US$75,000.

Two men accused of stealing from money changer taken off flight at Changi Airport and arrested

Two suspects arrested at Changi Airport for their alleged involvement in stealing from a money changer in Singapore. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: Two men who allegedly stole from a money changer using the sleight of hand tactic were arrested at Changi Airport after their flight was stopped from leaving Singapore.

The police said they were alerted to the theft of about US$75,000 (S$100,000) from a money changer along Coleman Street on Apr 21.

According to the police, the suspects, aged 45 and 54, had made bona fide exchanges of Singapore dollars for US dollars on four occasions prior to the incident. 

“After gaining familiarity with the money changer, the two men asked the money changer to prepare US$75,000 in exchange for Singapore dollars on Apr 20,” the police said in a media release on Saturday (Apr 22).

On the afternoon of Apr 21, the men asked to be handed the US$75,000, which comprised US$100 bills, on the pretext of verifying the amount.

The older man then packed the bundles of cash into plastic bags and placed them into a large briefcase, said the police. 

“When the briefcase could not fit through the gap at the counter to be returned to the money changer, the two men then allegedly pretended to remove the plastic bags containing the bundles from the briefcase to place them into a smaller black leather bag, which could fit through the gap,” the police added.

“The two men then claimed they would return with their passports and the Singapore dollars and left the black leather bag at the money changer.”

When they did not return after an hour, the money changer opened the leather bag and found that the men had allegedly swapped the US$75,000 with a mixture of US dollars and fake Euro notes.

The money was in three plastic bags containing a bundle each consisting of US$1 and US$100 notes, said the police. 

Cash recovered from two suspects accused of stealing US$75,000 from a money changer. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

The two men were identified as foreign nationals. They were onboard an aircraft due to take off from Changi Airport for Frankfurt, Germany, when Singapore authorities stopped the plane from leaving. 

They were escorted off the aircraft and arrested.

A total of US$74,600 was recovered from the two men, said the police, adding that the suspects were arrested within eight hours of the police report.

The offence of theft in dwelling carries a jail term of up to seven years and a fine. 

“The police would like to alert all money exchangers to be vigilant against similar modus operandi and guard against such theft involving sleight of hand,” said the Singapore Police Force.

Source: CNA


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