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Silvia Pavlof April 4, 2023 2 min read
Former CRA Employee Sentenced to Prison for Printer Cartridge Scam
Zulkiflie Yacob, 45, who used to work for the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) in Singapore, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal breach of trust and was sentenced on April 3
Singapore media outlet The Straits Times reported that a former senior executive of a government agency has been sentenced to over two years in prison for misappropriating more than 750 printer cartridges worth over SGD93,000 ($70,118) and selling them online.
Ex-CRA Officer Sold Misappropriated Printer Cartridges on Carousell
Zulkiflie Yacob, 45, had deliberately over-ordered cartridges between April 2016 and October 2018 and sold them on the online marketplace Carousell, pocketing the sales proceeds.
The CRA discovered the discrepancies between the number of cartridges purchased and used and the number of items left in stock. This led to a police report and Zulkiflie’s arrest in March 2020. In the course of investigations, Zulkiflie disclosed that he had declared financial embarrassment in 2015 and had utilized the funds obtained from selling the misappropriated cartridges to cover his expenses and pay off outstanding bills.
On January 15, 2023, Zulkiflie partially restituted SGD25,000 ($18,852) to the Gambling Regulatory Authority, formerly the CRA, and his defense lawyer said that he had handed over all benefits received from the offenses. Zulkiflie’s bail was set at SGD15,000 ($11,311) on April 3, and he is expected to surrender himself at the State Courts on April 28 to begin his jail term.
Questions Raised about Government Agency Resource Management Following Employee’s Misconduct
The prosecution noted that the CRA was a statutory board under the Ministry of Home Affairs and that Zulkiflie’s job scope included procuring office supplies and purchasing printer cartridges. Each count of criminal breach of trust carries a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine. Zulkiflie’s lawyer pleaded for a sentence of not more than 16 months in jail, stating that his client had made the restitution based on the amount of money he had earned from selling the cartridges.
The case has raised questions about how well government agencies in Singapore are managing their resources and whether enough checks and balances are in place to prevent similar incidents from happening. Zulkiflie’s breach of trust has highlighted the need for greater transparency in government procurement processes and stricter oversight to prevent employees from exploiting their positions for personal gain.