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Crime-Justice

Two more Indian students jailed for shoplifting in Singapore

IANS | December 03, 2023 12:47 PM

SINGAPORE: Two more Indian students have been jailed in Singapore for conspiring to steal apparel worth over SG$1, 700 (over Rs 1 lakh) from a retail store by removing the items' price tags.

Brahmbhatt Komal Chetankumar and Christian Arpita Arvindbhai, both 27-years-old, pleaded guilty on December 1 to shoplifting offences and were sentenced to 40 and 45 days’ jail respectively, The Straits Times newspaper reported.

In a court ruling last month, the two who were on student passes in Singapore, had initially stated that they had no intention to steal.

District Judge Eugene Teo called their acts “disgraceful” and told them not to commit such offences again.

Komal and Arpita lived together in the same flat with four other Indians who were part of a group that stole apparel from the Uniqlo store.

The court documents identified three more Indian nationals -- Bhavik, 24, Vishal, 23, and Darshan, 22 -- in the conspiracy.

Bhavik and Vishal planned to steal from the outlet and roped the rest into the plan, The Straits Times reported, citing documents.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Maximilian Chew told the court previously that the group went to the Uniqlo outlet in Orchard Central on October 12 at around 6 p.m.

After picking the apparel, they removed price tags containing radio-frequency identification (RFID), which could set off the store’s security alarm.

Then they stuffed the apparel into tote bags at the self-checkout area, and pretended they had paid for all of their items.

In total, the group stole 64 pieces of apparel worth SG$1, 788, The Straits Times reported.

The authorities were alerted to the conspiracy a few days later when a second group, which included some members from the first group, tried to steal clothes worth SG$2, 271 from the same outlet.

Their attempt failed as a store security officer noticed their suspicious behaviour and reported it to police.

The police arrested members of the group with the help of CCTV cameras, but Bhavik, Vishal and Darshan had already left Singapore by then.

Komal and Arpita, who have been remanded since their arrest, attended the court hearing on December 1 via video link.

Four others in the group -- Shihora Ridham Mukeshbhai, 20, Hun Smit Ashokbhai, 21, Kuvadiya Milan Ghansyambhai, 26, and Chauhan Ruchi Sanjaykumar, 25 -- were sentenced to between 40 and 65 days in jail on November 22.

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