Jail for tourist nabbed at Changi Airport after encashing S$24,000 of gambling tickets he found on MBS Casino floor
SINGAPORE — When Silitonga Andri Parulian, 27, spotted eight slot machine tickets with a total face value of S$24,000 lying on the floor at the Marina Bay Sands Casino, he was quick to act.
The tickets, which can be used to play slot machines or encashed for their face value, had fallen out of a staff member’s ticket folder near the entrance to the invitation-only Ruby Room, where Silitonga was about to gamble.
The Indonesian tourist picked up the tickets, then encashed them all at the casino, before heading to Changi Airport to try to flee the country that night.
Silitonga was sentenced to four months’ jail on Monday (June 19) after pleading guilty to a single charge of dishonestly misappropriating money.
State Prosecuting Officer (SPO) Lim Yeow Leong told the court that on March 26 this year, a Marina Bay Sands Casino slot machine ambassador was carrying a folder full of the slot machine tickets as she was about to enter the Ruby Room.
She accidentally dropped eight of the tickets, worth S$3,000 each, on the floor at the door to the room.
They belonged to Tham Wan Nyit, a manager who was in charge of slot machine operations at the casino.
At the time, Silitonga had just arrived at the casino and was about to enter the Ruby Room to gamble when he saw the tickets on the floor.
Silitonga picked them up with no intention of returning them or handing them over to casino security, said SPO Lim.
This act was caught on the casino’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
Silitonga quickly made his way to four cash-out machines in the casino, where he encashed the tickets and received a total of S$24,000 in cash.
He left the casino and headed to Changi Airport, where he tried to buy an air ticket to Jakarta, Indonesia, but found no ticket was available.
Silitonga spent the night at the airport and called a friend to arrange for her to help him transfer S$2,000 into his Indonesia bank account the next day.
He met his friend at Tampines Mall the next morning and handed over the money.
After helping him with the transfer, his friend told him about using a remittance service for future transfers.
He went to a nearby Western Union remittance service, where he sent S$3,000 to his Indonesian bank account and S$2,000 to his girlfriend’s Indonesian bank account.
Silitonga made two other remittances the next day, sending S$8,000 to his own account and S$2,000 to his friend’s account.
Ms Tham discovered the loss of the tickets on the night of March 26 and made a police report the next morning, after a review of the CCTV footage identified Silitonga as the culprit.
Silitonga finally tried to clear immigration to board a flight to return to Indonesia three days later.
He was flagged by the police and identified to be on a stop-list over his actions in taking the slot machine tickets.
The immigration officers prevented his departure and directed Silitonga to report to the Central Police Divisional Headquarters.
Silitonga not only refused to return the S$17,000 he had remitted, but had also refused to tell the police what he did with the remaining amount.
The S$24,000 was not recovered and no restitution has been made.
Silitonga, who was not represented during court proceedings, apologised to those affected by his actions and pleaded with District Judge Crystal Tan for a lighter sentence.
The judge noted his remorse but told him that she still had to agree with the prosecution’s sentencing position of four to five months’ jail, as the amount involved was substantial.
For dishonestly misappropriating money that did not belong to him, Silitonga could have been jailed for up to two years or fined, or both.
See other website:
Other Interesting ArticlesUp to 12 Thai police officers may be involved in gambling extortion controversy
Jun 19, 2023