Vietnamese student fined for shoplifting at Changi transit hall

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She was in transit at Changi Airport when she decided to go on a shoplifting spree at the transit hall while waiting for her flight home.

In slightly more than an hour, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan, a 20-year-old Vietnamese student, had stolen 14 items worth $1,655.53, including chocolates, cosmetics and a branded bag from Longchamp.

She was caught after a store employee found a displayed item missing and reviewed the store’s CCTV footage.

Nguyen was fined $1,800 on Wednesday (14 June) after she pleaded guilty to three charges of theft. Four other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing. Nguyen will be serving eight days in prison as she could not pay the fine.

The court heard that on 3 June this year, Nguyen was transiting from Japan, where she studied, to Vietnam when she committed the offences.

After she arrived in Singapore at 6.21am, Nguyen decided to shop around at Changi Airport Terminal 3, Departure Transit Hall.

According to the police prosecutor, Nguyen then formed the intention to steal the displayed items from retail stores such as Watsons, Longchamp, The Shilla Cosmetic and Perfume South, The Guardian, So Chocolate and Discovery Singapore.

Nguyen would enter the stores, take the displayed items and keep them in her bag while no one was looking.

The items she took include a $1,046.73 brown slingbag from Longchamp, a Godiva chocolate product, a Givenchy perfume, a silver necklace with a flower design pendant and makeup products from Revlon, Maybelline and Shu Umera.

A Longchamp store assistant discovered that the displayed slingbag was missing and reviewed the CCTV footage. She identified Nguyen who was then traced and arrested by the police.

All the stolen items were recovered from Nguyen.

Nguyen, who was unrepresented, apologised for the offences and said that she wished to go home as soon as possible as her father was “not well”. The student, who spoke through an interpreter, pleaded for leniency.

The prosecution asked for a fine.

On each count of theft, Nguyen could have been jailed up to three years and/or fined.


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