Two more Indian nationals, who were involved in a previously reported shoplifting case last month, have since been jailed on 1 December, according to The Straits Times.
The two women, 27-year-old Brahmbhatt Komal Chetankumar and 27-year-old Christian Arpita Arvindbhai, are in Singapore on Student passes.
They previously claimed that they didn’t intend to steal but eventually pleaded guilty to shoplifting, being sentenced to 40 and 45 days imprisonment each.
In a shocking incident that unraveled in the heart of Singapore, a group of foreign students, sharing an apartment, orchestrated a series of shoplifting escapades at the popular Uniqlo store in Orchard Central.
This brazen act involved removing price tags and RFID chips from clothes before heading to self-checkout counters, leading to a significant legal repercussion for four individuals, according to Channel NewsAsia.
Foreign Students Living Under One Roof
The masterminds behind these carefully planned thefts were four Indian nationals, aged between 20 and 26, studying in Singapore on student passes. Living together in the same apartment, they operated as a cohesive unit, exploiting their shared living situation to execute their nefarious plans.
The orchestrated thefts took place in October at Uniqlo Orchard Central. The group, comprising six individuals, meticulously divided tasks. Some selected the items to steal, while others skillfully removed price tags containing RFID chips. The removal of these tags rendered the payment machines oblivious to the stolen items, allowing the group to exit the store undetected.
The Grand Heist
On the evening of October 12, the group descended upon Uniqlo Orchard Central, aiming to pilfer various items. They filled shopping baskets with stolen goods, skillfully navigating the self-checkout counters. Ingeniously, they paid for inexpensive tote bags, creating the illusion of a legitimate purchase. This audacious move resulted in the successful theft of 64 pieces of merchandise valued at approximately S$1,800.
The daring group returned a few days later, attempting a repeat performance. However, this time, a vigilant security guard at Uniqlo Orchard Central noticed suspicious behavior. Two thieves hastily packed clothes into purchased tote bags. When confronted, they resorted to lies and attempts to escape, leaving behind the stolen items at the self-checkout counter. An online police report was lodged, initiating an extensive investigation.
Law enforcement, armed with CCTV footage, identified the thieves and apprehended them on October 30. The investigation revealed that the second group had attempted to steal 72 pieces of clothing valued at about S$2,300. The prosecutor emphasized the premeditated nature of the crimes, highlighting the ease of committing shoplifting offenses and the difficulty in detecting and apprehending the perpetrators.
Legal Consequences: Jail Sentences for the Culprits
The legal repercussions were severe. Shihora Ridham Mukeshbhai, Hun Smit Ashokbhai, Kuvadiya Milan Ghansyambhai, and Chauhan Ruchi Sanjaykumar were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 40 to 65 days. The court considered a range of charges, including group theft and attempted theft with common intention.
While these four faced justice, it was revealed that there were others involved who had left Singapore before investigations began. Brahmbhatt Komal Chetankumar and Christian Arpita Arvindbhai did not proceed with their guilty pleas, leaving their cases open for pre-trial conferences later in the month.