SINGAPORE – On his last day at work at a diamond company, a man made off with 298 pieces of jewellery worth nearly $250,000 in total before taking the valuables back to Malaysia to sell.

Low Kin Leong, 29, who worked as an assistant operations manager at Lovis Diamonds, pleaded guilty on Friday (Aug 16) to one count each of criminal breach of trust and moving his criminal proceeds out of Singapore.

The Malaysian was sentenced to three years’ jail.

He first joined Lovis Diamonds as a sales executive in 2013 before rising through the ranks to become an assistant operations manager.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Victoria Ting said Low had been tasked with overseeing the sales operations at the company’s two outlets.

One was located at the Bedok Mall in New Upper Changi Road, while the other was at the Westgate shopping mall in Gateway Drive near Boon Lay Way.

Low also had full authorisation to transfer items between the two outlets and the firm’s headquarters in Kaki Bukit.

He later decided that his last day at work would be Feb 24, 2016, and hatched a plan to misappropriate valuables from the shops.

He asked one of his subordinates at the Bedok Mall outlet to take out 101 pieces of jewellery.

After that, he used the store’s point of sale system to indicate that the jewellery would be transferred to the company’s Westgate outlet.

At around 8pm, another subordinate saw Low arriving at the Westgate outlet with a bag of jewellery.

DPP Ting told District Judge Edgar Foo: “The accused used the (point of sale) system at the Westgate outlet to mark 298 pieces of jewellery – including the 101 pieces from the Bedok outlet – as being transferred to Lovis’ headquarters.”

Low then left the premises with the valuables in a black trash bag before the store closed for the day.

At around 1.40pm the next day, he left Singapore with the misappropriated jewellery via Woodlands Checkpoint before selling the valuables in Malaysia.

DPP Ting did not state the amount he received from selling them.

She also told the court that the business manager at Lovis Diamonds alerted the police on Feb 28, 2016.

The Singapore Police Force sought assistance from the Royal Malaysia Police, whose officers arrested Low on June 5 this year. He was brought back to Singapore two days later.

The court heard that he has made no restitution. The jewellery and the proceeds from their sale were also not recovered.

Low, who was unrepresented, pleaded for leniency and told Judge Foo that he had been supporting his family in Malaysia.

For criminal breach of trust, he could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.