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Author Topic: Tay Boon Keh (Baggage handler at Changi Airport) [Certified disgusting]  (Read 1283 times)

Offline greentara

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Former baggage handler admits swopping tags of 286 bags at Changi Airport Terminal 2
Shaffiq Alkhatib | Oct 26, 2018

SINGAPORE - Feeling aggrieved at his company for not helping to ease his workload, a baggage handler at Changi Airport Terminal 2 decided to swop the baggage tags of 286 bags belonging to Singapore Airlines and SilkAir passengers.

The bags later arrived at places other than their intended destinations.

As a result, the two carriers had to make compensation payouts totalling more than $42,000 to 221 affected passengers as of Oct 1 this year.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, Tay Boon Keh, who is no longer working as a baggage handler, pleaded guilty in court to 20 counts of mischief on his 65th birthday on Friday (Oct 26).

Another 266 similar charges will be considered during sentencing.

He committed the offences between Nov 8, 2016, and Feb 6 last year.

The court heard that Tay had been employed by industrial equipment supplier Lian Cheng Contracting, a subcontractor of the Changi Airport Group.

He started work on Sept 7, 2016, and was deployed to the Explosives Detection System (EDS) X-Ray machine at Belt 5-7 later that month.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min said the machine had frequent power failures and broke down several times a day.

When this happened, Tay had to carry travellers' bags off Belt 5-7 and move them for screening at another machine at Belt 7-5 about 6m away.

Tay complained to his supervisor that it was physically tiring to carry the bags around.

However, as manpower at Lian Cheng Contracting was limited at that time, additional staff were not deployed to the EDS X-Ray machine at Belt 5-7, the court heard.

DPP Thiam told District Judge Jasvender Kaur: "Finally, out of frustration and anger at Lian Cheng, the accused came up with a plan to swop the baggage tags attached to the luggage bags that he handled with other baggage tags. The accused was alone when he performed the swopping of the tags, and he did it at an area which was out of CCTV view."

The DPP said Tay knew that by swopping the baggage tags, the affected bags would be sent to the wrong locations.

She added: "Nevertheless, the accused persisted in committing the acts intending to bring about inconvenience to his employer, Lian Cheng, and make Changi Airport Group aware of the manpower shortage and X-Ray machine breakdown issues, so that it could do something to rectify the situation."

His offences came to light after an employee from ground handling company Sats received e-mails from Singapore Airlines and SilkAir representatives, stating that some of their passengers' baggage tags had been tampered with.

The Sats employee lodged a police report on Dec 7, 2016.

DPP Thiam said Tay eventually stopped swopping travellers' baggage tags in February last year as his actions had not resulted in additional manpower being deployed to assist him.

Defence lawyers Senior Counsel Lok Vi Ming and Tang Jin Sheng are representing him pro bono and the case has been adjourned for a pre-trial conference on Nov 1.

The Straits Times contacted Lian Cheng Contracting on Friday and was told that it "cannot reveal anything" about the case.

For each count of mischief, offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined.

Source: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/former-baggage-handler-admits-swopping-tags-286-bags-changi-airport-terminal-2

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Re: Tay Boon Keh (Baggage handler at Changi Airport) [Certified disgusting]
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 09:00:36 PM »
20 days' jail for ex-baggage handler who swopped the tags of 286 pieces of luggage
Tay Boon Keh, 66, was unhappy with his working conditions and came up with the idea to swop the baggage tags to exact revenge on his employer.PHOTO: ST FILE
11 Nov 2019 | Shaffiq Alkhatib, Court Correspondent

SINGAPORE - More than 200 pieces of luggage belonging to passengers of Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir ended up at the wrong destinations after an airport baggage handler swopped the tags because he was unhappy with his duties.

On Monday (Nov 11), 66-year-old Tay Boon Keh was sentenced to 20 days' jail for mischief. Under the Penal Code, it is an offence to cause wrongful loss or damage to another person's property.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, Tay pleaded guilty in October last year to 20 counts of mischief. Another 266 similar charges were considered during sentencing.

As a result of Tay swopping the tags of 286 pieces of luggage, the two carriers had to pay compensation totalling more than $42,000 to 221 affected passengers.

At the time of the offences - between November 2016 and February 2017 - Tay was employed by industrial equipment supplier Lian Cheng Contracting, a subcontractor of Changi Airport Group (CAG). He is no longer working at the airport.

The court heard that he was suffering from major depressive disorder during that period. A Newton hearing was held to determine if there was a causal link between the offences and his condition.

On Monday, District Judge Jasvender Kaur said she found that his major depressive disorder "had not caused or significantly contributed to the offending".

She added that she accepted evidence from the prosecution's psychiatrist Dr Tor Phern Chern, who had earlier testified that patients who suffer depression in relation to their work would "experience impairment" in areas such as performing their tasks properly.

The judge added: "In the case of the accused, he remarkably continued to go to work diligently during the entire period of offending.

"The accused stopped swopping the luggage tags immediately upon his transfer in February 2017 to an easier job. Dr Tor pointed out that... if the (major depressive disorder) was causing him to do the swopping, he would not have been able to stop immediately."

She also said that Tay's offences were "not trivial" and they resulted in "significant monetary and reputational losses" to the affected carriers and Changi Airport.

"The accused had come up with a plan to exact revenge on his employer for perceived unfair working conditions and abused his position... over close to 3½ months," said Judge Kaur.

Tay started work on Sept 7, 2016, and was deployed to the Explosives Detection System X-ray machine at Belt 5-7 later that month.

During the hearing, Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min said the machine would stop working several times a day.

Whenever there was a breakdown, Tay had to move the bags from Belt 5-7 to another X-ray machine at Belt 7-5 about 6m away.

Tay had told his supervisor that it was physically tiring work. However, as the company's manpower was limited at the time, the firm did not deploy additional staff.

DPP Thiam added: "Finally, out of frustration and anger at Lian Cheng, the accused came up with a plan to swop the baggage tags attached to the luggage bags that he handled with other baggage tags.

"The accused was alone when he performed the swopping of the tags, and he did it in an area which was out of CCTV view."

His offences came to light after SIA and SilkAir told ground handling company Sats that some of their passengers' baggage tags had been tampered with. Sats made a police report on Dec 7, 2016.

CAG had earlier told The Straits Times that it was an isolated case of mischief. It has since enhanced access control as well as closed-circuit television (CCTV) coverage in the baggage handling area. Patrols have also been stepped up, said CAG.

Tay was represented by Mr Lok Vi Ming, a senior counsel, and Mr Tang Jin Sheng, both of whom acted pro bono. Mr Tang told Judge Kaur on Monday that their client was remorseful.

For each count of mischief, offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/20-days-jail-for-ex-baggage-handler-who-swapped-the-tags-of-286-pieces-of