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Nightclub waiter who sold customers’ credit card details for S$400 gets 5 months' jail

SINGAPORE — After snapping photos of his customers' credit card details in the toilet of the nightclub where he worked, Niccol Soon Wei Chong sold the information to his accomplices, who would later used the information to top-up Ez-link cards that came to more than S$12,000 in value.

Nightclub waiter who sold customers’ credit card details for S$400 gets 5 months' jail
Niccol Soon Wei Chong, 28, sold his customers' credit card information and was jailed for five months after pleading guilty to a single charge of conspiring to commit unauthorised access to computer material.
  • Niccol Soon Wei Chong's colleague roped him into a scheme from 2018 to 2019 to collect credit card details
  • Soon sent the other man photos of credit cards used by customers at nightclub, in exchange for S$400
  • The card details were later used to top up Ez-link cards that amounted to more than S$12,000 in value

SINGAPORE — After snapping photos of his customers' credit card details in the toilet of the nightclub where he worked, Niccol Soon Wei Chong sold the information to his accomplices, who would later used the information to top-up Ez-link cards that came to more than S$12,000 in value.

On Tuesday (March 22), Soon, 28, was jailed for five months after pleading guilty to a single charge of conspiring to commit unauthorised access to computer material.

The court heard that he was employed at Club V6 Armani at Sultan Plaza as a waiter, and was roped into the scheme with three accomplices — Koh Zhi Wei, 26; Thio Ying Han, 23; and a person named Ben, whose real identity was not ascertained in court documents.

Between December 2018 and March 2019, Koh asked Thio, who works as a bartender at the club, to send credit card information belonging to their customers to him.

Thio then asked Soon to help him on this and tasked him to take photos of 15 credit cards from customers every week. Soon would be given a commission based on how many photos he sent to Thio, the court heard.

Thio also told Soon that the credit card information could be used to top up Ez-link stored-value cards, which could later be used to buy and resell cigarettes.

To rid themselves of the evidence, Thio told Soon to delete all of their phone text messages and photos of customers’ credit cards after Soon sent them to Thio. Soon agreed.

Thio later photographed their customers’ credit cards in the toilet, sending photos of at least 10 cards to Thio over WhatsApp. In turn, Thio sent Koh photos of at least 18 credit cards. Koh then allegedly forwarded them to Ben.

In March 2019, Soon stopped sending the photos after Thio stopped paying him for them. Thio had received between S$700 and S$2,600 from Koh, and paid Soon S$400 for his involvement.

Court documents showed that Ben, or his associates, later used the information to top up S$95,690 of value in Ez-link cards.

The total value of top-ups related to the 10 photos Thio took was S$12,170.

EZ-Link was unable to recover the sums after the victims disputed carrying out the top-up transactions, the court heard.

Thio pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 18 months’ jail, while Koh has been charged and his case is pending.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Norman Yew sought seven months’ jail for Soon, arguing that Soon had abused the trust of his employer and the customers who entrusted their credit cards to him.

The prosecutor said: “The accused’s offences have made real the chilling prospect that each time a consumer presents his credit card to a service staff for payment, the service staff might steal the sensitive information on the card and pass it on to others who would misuse the information at the consumer’s expense."

If the courts do not sufficiently deter the theft of credit card information by workers in the service or food-and-beverage industry, consumers in Singapore would feel increasingly unsafe to use credit cards to make payments, he added.

"(This) would be a step backwards in Singapore’s development as a modern economy,” DPP Yew said.

In Soon's mitigation plea, his defence counsel Riko Isaac from Tembusu Law said that he had no prior convictions and was “immensely remorseful” for his offences.

The lawyer asked for two to five months’ jail, adding that Soon was merely a pawn in the scheme and did not seek to gain substantially.

He was hesitant in taking part at first and wanted to come clean to the nightclub’s general manager, but was arrested before he got the chance to do so, Mr Isaac told the court.

Although Soon did not meet the criteria for intellectual disability, the lawyer noted from an Institute of Mental Health report that his intellectual functioning was “far below average”.

Those convicted of unauthorised access to computer material under the Computer Misuse Act can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime credit card steal nightclub ez-link card

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