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Thursday, May 13, 2010
A tale of the coins
Bok loved doing flights to Japan. He had his fair share of at least 1 rostered flight a month to Japan. But Bok would swapped flights with his colleagues so he could fly to Japan more often.
On his flight to Japan, Bok would carry lots of cheap valued copper coins from countries like Thailand,India etc. The value of these coins ranged from 5 cts to 10 cts.
Whilst night stopping in Japan,Bok noticed that the drink vending machines accepted 500 Japanese Yen coin. The vending machines would dispensed can drinks of the likes of coffee,cola,fruits etc at the cost of 100 Yen per can. If one were to insert a 500 yen coin,the machine would dispense a change of 400 Yen. That would give Bok a gain of S$6 with an insertion of 1 500Y coin. The rate of exchange is S15 to 1000 Yen or $1.50 to 100 Yen. On top of that,Bok could keep the can of drinks.
On a single flight Bok would normally bring around 100 of the low valued foreign coins. He would during his stay in Japan visit many vending machines and exchanged them for the high valued Japanese Yen. A quick calculation would give Bok a profit of $600 each time he visited Japan. On top of the profits, he also brought back the 100 or so cans/packets of drinks home. Btw Bok and his family owned a small provision shop in Toa Payoh and the drinks he brought from Japan also helped to boost the family owned shop's bottom line.
The Japanese owners of the vending machines were shocked to find themselves being cheated. They got together and discussed ways to catch the cheat or cheats. In those days it was too expensive to install hidden cameras and so the owners took turns to watch their machines. It turned out that their vigilance paid off when Bok visited one of their machines. They apprehended Bok and handed him to the police. Bok was charged with theft and sent to jail.