SINGAPORE: A former compliance officer at United Overseas Bank (UOB) was on Monday (Jan 4) sentenced to 12 weeks' jail for giving customers’ details to an unlicensed moneylender.
Koh Chee Tong, 30, faced four charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, while another 20 charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing. He previously pleaded guilty at his trial on Nov 25 last year.
In November, the court found that Koh gave the particulars and contact details of potential debtors to a loanshark named "Ah King", after he had landed himself in S$16,000 debt due to gambling.
Koh obtained the particulars via the bank’s customer database. “Ah King” then used these details to try and expand his customer base by contacting these UOB customers to offer them loans. UOB customers lodged at least two police reports after receiving harassing phone calls from “Ah King”.
At the trial in November, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Sanjiv Vaswani said Koh’s actions had “gone against the very nature of his work” as a compliance officer. DPP Vaswani urged the the court to impose six months’ jail, as Koh’s offences “compromised the integrity of the banking sector”.
However, defence lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan said Koh had agreed to provide “Ah King” with the details of UOB customers because it was the “least onerous option”. Mr Kalidass said a high fine would be sufficient punishment, telling the court that his client was genuinely remorseful, and that he had committed the offences “in a moment of folly”, pointing out that no actual harm was caused to the victims.
“This is a peculiar case,” Mr Kalidass said, adding that Koh “deliberately chose persons with a sound financial background when selecting names from the bank’s database”, in the belief that they were less likely to require an illegal loan from “Ah King”.
Koh faced up to two years’ jail and/or a S$5,000 fine per charge.