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Tourists used stolen card

PUBLISHED: 21:30 21 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:30 03 March 2010

TWO Malaysian tourists went on a spending spree with somebody else's credit card when they ran low on money.

Cheow Hiang Teh and Weng Ngee Beh pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk magistrates to using the credit card to spend more than £600 at Marks and Spencers in Ipswich with the promise of earning £30.

TWO Malaysian tourists went on a spending spree with somebody else's credit card when they ran low on money.

Cheow Hiang Teh and Weng Ngee Beh pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk magistrates to using the credit card to spend more than £600 at Marks and Spencers in Ipswich with the promise of earning £30.

They were released from custody as soon as the case was heard as their 48 hour stay in the cells was seen to be an appropriate punishment.

Mr Teh and Miss Beh, of Henfield Close, Ipswich, who have short term tourist visas, were caught buying £500 worth of Marks and Spencers vouchers and £105 worth of clothes in the department store on Thursday, August 15 at 1.25pm.

The two were arrested for dishonestly obtaining vouchers and clothing and intentionally paying for the goods with a credit card which had another person's name on it.

The court heard on Saturday that when the two were interviewed by police Teh had said a mystery man promised to pay him £30 if he returned and handed the vouchers over.

Whereas Beh said she believed she would be able to continue using the card after handing over £200 worth of the vouchers to the same man.

Charles Riddleston, defending, said: "Mr Teh was given the card by a man who he describes as from mainland China. In the interview with police he used the word conned.

"Mr Teh had money to spend in this country. He is a tourist but found himself running short of money and agreed to undertake this criminal course of action."

Mr Riddleston asked the magistrates to take in to account that the two were 'foreign nationals who have very little command of English',

David Taylor, prosecuting, said that it had been a deliberately pre-planned deception on Marks and Spencers, but that all items had been recovered and there had been no claim for compensation.

The magistrates said they would acknowledge that Beh and Teh did not have previous convictions in this country and that they gave an early guilty plea and co-operated with the police by giving a full admission.

The 48 hours the two had already served in custody since they were arrested on Thursday was seen by the magistrates as enough to punish them. They were therefore released immediately after the case was heard and ordered to pay £25 in court costs each.

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