UP TO 500 households could have had their mail stolen, after a SingPost mailroom was broken into last week.

The Straits Times understands from sources that bank credit and debit cards, were among the stolen mail and have been fraudulently used.

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The break-in happened at the mail transit room in Choa Chu Kang last Wednesday. It is believed that up to eight bags of mail were stolen from the room which stores items ready to be picked up and distributed by the postman.

The mail had been meant for residents living at Verde View condominium, block 50 of Yew Mei condominium and blocks 22, 26 and 28 of Windermere Condominium.

Verde View condominium

Yew Mei condominium


Windermere Condominium

 

The theft was discovered after a postman who went to the mailroom to collect letters that day found there was nothing for him to deliver to that area.

Yesterday, SingPost said it had reported the matter to the police and sent out a letter to those affected. In it, the company said mail security was its ‘topmost concern’.

‘From our experience, not every unit receives mail every single day. It is unlikely, but in the worst-case scenario, about 500 units in the three private housing condominiums may be affected,’ said a SingPost spokesman.

Sources told The Straits Times that SingPost informed the banks it had lodged the police report last Thursday. An immediate check was carried out to verify with customers if they had received credit cards mailed that day, and some cards were deactivated.

SingPost said only ordinary mail items had been taken. These could include anything from brochures and magazines to wedding invites, personal letters, bank statements and new credit cards. Registered mail items were not affected. The police said they are investigating.

Some residents of the affected condominiums told The Straits Times they received the SingPost letter yesterday. But many, like Mr Lee Yeo Hock, 59, had not checked their letter boxes. ‘I’m not worried because I’m expecting only bills,’ said the retiree, a resident at Windermere condominium.

His neighbour from the same block, Madam Chethana Thimmappa, 35, a systems analyst, was also unfazed because she was not expecting anything important in the mail.

Another Windermere resident, housewife Elizabeth Wong, 53, said she had not received some of her bills and was worried about missing a payment. ‘I haven’t received my credit card statement, it is usually sent about that time,’ she said. ‘How will the bank know to send me a new one?’

Every day, SingPost processes 2.8 million postal items at its mail processing centre. These items are then delivered to the delivery bases, and later transferred to mail transit rooms for collection by the postmen.

Since ordinary mail is not tracked by the company, it could not tell exactly what items had been taken. The SingPost spokesman said it was the first time that a mail transit room had been broken into.

There have, however, been cases of SingPost employees stealing mail.

Earlier this month, Mohamed Riduan Abdul Salam, 22, was jailed for six months for taking credit cards from the sorting room at SingPost’s Woodlands Delivery Base, then charging about RM60,000 (S$24,000) to the cards in Johor Baru.

Last month, another SingPost employee, Andy Soh Wei Keong, 24, was jailed for nearly three years for stealing envelopes containing credit cards. He then handed most of the stolen cards to an accomplice, who used them to buy Rolex watches.



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