Malaysian Nurse Caught Stealing And Selling Pokémon Cards To Pay Off Debt

He made approximately RM3,510 selling the cards.

Cover image via Caleb Oquendo/Pexels & Kindel Media/Pexels

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A Malaysian nurse has been convicted of theft in Singapore after stealing two boxes of Pokémon trading cards and liquidating them

Image used for illustration purposes only.

Image via Caleb Oquendo/Pexels

Fong Jia Wei, 23, was caught stealing and selling Pokémon cards to repay his debts. According to The Star, the Singapore permanent resident was sentenced to one year of probation on 14 May after pleading guilty to two theft charges.

As part of his probation, he is required to stay indoors from 11pm to 6am daily and complete 40 hours of community service. Additionally, his parents were bonded for SGD5,000 (RM17,530) to ensure his good behaviour.

A local game store lodged a police report following the theft at its premises

Image used for illustration purposes only.

Image via zeepbridge (Reddit)

On 2 May 2023, at around 4.30pm, Fong stole a box of Pokémon cards worth more than SGD210 (RM730) from a video game store at Paya Lebar Square shopping mall.

A retail assistant from the store reported the theft to the police two days later.

Fong committed another theft on 9 May 2023, stealing a box of Pokémon cards worth SGD270 (RM937) from a convenience store on Commonwealth Avenue. He sold the stolen cards online, earning approximately SGD1,000 (RM3,510).

Fong was arrested later that day at Paya Lebar Square. At the time of his arrest, multiple packets of Pokémon cards were found in his possession. The cards he had sold were not recovered.

According to his lawyers, his diploma was withheld after failing to pay his student fees

BFM reported that defence lawyers Josephus Tan and Cory Wong revealed in court documents that Fong graduated from a polytechnic in April 2021, but his diploma was withheld because he owed the school approximately SGD7,000 (RM24,540) in fees.

Fong eventually received his diploma in April 2022 after paying his school fees using his savings and money borrowed from friends.

The lawyers explained that Fong decided to commit the thefts in order to repay his friends.

His lawyers also pointed out that he hatched the plan after watching a TikTok video of people selling Pokémon cards for profit

In January 2023, Fong watched videos on the social media platform TikTok that showed people making money by selling Pokémon cards.

The lawyers informed the court that certain rare cards could be sold for between SGD10 (RM35) and SGD50 (RM175) each. Typical for a trading card game, some cards can fetch even higher prices if they are particularly popular or rare.

"The social media users had boasted that buying Pokémon card boxes or packets in bulk and then re-selling individual rare cards... could be quite a lucrative venture," said the lawyers.

Fong was charged in court in August 2023

For each count of theft, an offender can be sentenced to up to three years in jail and fined.

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