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3 men, including ex-StarHub employee, charged with helping or bribing man to get confidential customer details

SINGAPORE — Three men, including a former retail consultant from a Singtel subsidiary and an ex-StarHub employee, were charged on Wednesday (Dec 16) in relation to the retrieval of confidential customer details.

3 men, including ex-StarHub employee, charged with helping or bribing man to get confidential customer details

Kelvin Foo Cheek Ann (left) and Zhang Jiazheng (right) are two of three men accused of helping or bribing 37-year-old Lee Cheng Yan to obtain customer information, such as billing addresses, from telcos StarHub and Singtel between 2014 and 2017.

  • Three men are accused of helping or bribing Lee Cheng Yan, 37, to obtain customer information from StarHub and Singtel 
  • Lee faces separate charges of giving and taking bribes, and instigating two of the men to retrieve the confidential information
  • Two of the three men hauled to court on Dec 16 said they planned to plead guilty

 

SINGAPORE — Three men, including a former retail consultant from a Singtel subsidiary and an ex-StarHub employee, were charged on Wednesday (Dec 16) in relation to the retrieval of confidential customer details.

They are accused of taking bribes to help 37-year-old Lee Cheng Yan obtain customer information, such as billing addresses, from the two telecommunications companies between 2014 and 2017.

One of the men is said to have bribed Lee to procure details of StarHub and Singtel customers.

Lee himself faces separate charges of giving and receiving bribes, and instigating two of the men to retrieve the confidential information. His case is still pending.

One of the three Singaporean men hauled to court on Wednesday was Kelvin Foo Cheek Ann. The 32-year-old was a retail consultant at Telecom Equipment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singtel.

He faces 15 counts of using a workplace computer to access data from Singtel’s system between 2014 and 2017. 

These included the address of Lee’s ex-girlfriend and details of other subscribers. Foo was also charged with agreeing to take a S$180 bribe from Lee in 2016 to extract the details.

In response to TODAY's queries, Singtel said: “Once we were aware of his wrongdoing, we immediately terminated his employment.

"We continue to reinforce our security measures to protect our data and hold regular code of conduct and data protection policy training for all our staff."

The second man is Zhang Jiazheng, 38, a former customer care consultant at StarHub. He faces nine charges of using a workplace computer to access the details of various StarHub subscribers between 2015 and 2017.

Court documents did not state whether he ultimately gave the details to Lee.

StarHub told TODAY that when the matter surfaced three years ago, it immediately revoked Zhang’s access to its system and suspended him from all duties. 

Its investigations found that Zhang had breached the employee code of conduct. The company terminated his employment in 2017. 

StarHub added: “We also tightened our systems and processes as well as conducted additional staff awareness training on data protection to further safeguard StarHub information.” 

The third man is 33-year-old Philbert Lim Zong Xian, who was charged with three counts of giving Lee bribes totalling S$1,000 to procure details of StarHub and Singtel customers in 2017. It was unclear if or how Lee had done so.

Foo and Zhang said that they intended to plead guilty, and would not hire a lawyer. 

All three men, who are out on bail, will return to court on Jan 13.

Those convicted of corruption can be jailed up to five years or fined up to S$100,000, or receive both penalties.

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

Lee made headlines earlier this year when he was disqualified from driving for life and jailed more than four years for dragging a traffic police officer with his Maserati car for about 120m in an attempt to escape. 

He was convicted after a judge rejected his claim that another man was behind the wheel. He is presently out on bail pending an appeal.

Related topics

bribery data breach court crime

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