Grab driver who took phone left behind by passenger jailed for 12 days

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SINGAPORE: A Grab driver who took a phone left behind by a passenger, despite being alerted to the misplaced device by another passenger, was jailed for 12 days on Tuesday (Nov 4).

Fok Kar Lam, 42, pleaded guilty to one charge of dishonestly misappropriating an iPhone 11 valued at more than S$1,000 from an Indonesian tourist.

The court heard that the victim, 43, boarded Fok’s car with a friend on the night of Feb 26.

During the journey, the victim placed her phone next to her on the seat, but forgot to take it when she alighted with her friend 15 minutes later.

While she was in a restaurant, the victim realised her phone was missing and her friend tried calling her number to locate the device, to no avail.

Her friend also tried contacting Fok through the Grab app, but there was no answer.

At about 11pm that day, another passenger boarded Fok’s Grab vehicle on Turf Club Road and found the iPhone on the back seat.

He told Fok that he found an iPhone and gave it to Fok for safekeeping, so that the phone could be taken to Grab.

Fok acknowledged this and according to court documents, placed the phone “near the gear box” of his vehicle before continuing to drive.

The passenger took a photo of the phone where it was placed before alighting at Yishun.

Despite what he had agreed to, Fok dishonestly misappropriated the phone. He had no intention of tracing and returning the phone to its rightful owner and continued driving his Grab vehicle, said State Prosecuting Officer Ting Nge Kong.

Past midnight on Feb 27, the victim’s friend helped to track the missing phone via the “Find my iPhone” application and it was found moving from Yishun to Sengkang.

Fok received an inquiry from Grab about the phone a few minutes after this, but denied finding or receiving the device.

The victim later lodged a police report over her missing phone, which she said was valued at US$999 (S$1,387) inclusive of the phone and casing.

Fok was identified through police investigations, but the phone was not recovered and he did not make restitution to the victim.

For dishonestly misappropriating the phone, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.

CNA has contacted Grab for more information.

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