Romanians who used 'sleight of hand' to steal in Singapore arrested

Yahoo file photo

A Romanian trio who scammed thousands of dollars from supermarkets and retail outlets all over Singapore in just one weekend has been arrested, the police said on Monday (3 April).

Singapore currency amounting to almost $5,000, some $6,000 in US currency, other currencies and an assortment of jewellery were also seized from the two men and one woman, who are aged between 25 and 39. The suspects are believed to be responsible for at least 12 theft cases islandwide, with the items stolen by sleight of hand.

From last Friday till Sunday, the police received multiple reports from supermarkets and retail outlets that cash had been discovered missing at the end of duty shifts. In the case of the first two reports, internal checks conducted by a supermarket revealed that the suspects had approached cashiers and asked to change currencies to smaller denominations.

Both cashiers facilitated the request and did not take sufficient notice of the cash they handed to and from the suspects. It is believed that cash was stolen in the process by one of the suspects using sleight of hand. The other police reports also involved similar encounters with the suspects in changing currencies, while at least one case involved the theft of a gold chain from a goldsmith using a similar tactic.

The jewellery stolen by the trio. (Singapore Police Force)

Following ground enquiries by police officers and with the aid of security camera footage, a raid was carried out early this morning at a budget hotel in Geylang Lorong 18.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the trio entered Singapore last Wednesday and were issued social visit passes.

All three suspects will be charged in court tomorrow with the offence of theft with common intention. If convicted, they could be fined and/or imprisoned for up to three years.