Retail consultant jailed for selling details of Singtel customers, who were later harassed

Retail consultant jailed for selling details of Singtel customers, who were later harassed

Kelvin Foo Cheek Ann
Kelvin Foo Cheek Ann at the State Courts on Dec 16, 2020. (Photo: TODAY/Nuria Ling)

SINGAPORE: When an acquaintance asked him to help obtain details of Singtel's customers, a retail consultant working for the telco's subsidiary initially said he would "consider" as he knew it was wrong.

However, he later provided details of customers for S$20 each, accessing the Singtel system 15 times to extract the information illegally. The customers were later harassed by calls, text messages or people turning up at their houses demanding money to be returned.

Kelvin Foo Cheek Ann, who was a retail consultant at the Singtel outlet in Parkway Parade at the time of the offences, was jailed for 18 weeks on Tuesday (Jan 26).

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of corruption and five charges of unauthorised access to Singtel's system, with another 10 charges taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that Foo was employed by Telecom Equipment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singtel Mobile Singapore. He sold mobile and broadband plans to customers, and was acquainted with co-accused Lee Cheng Yan.

READ: Three men charged over leaking of Singtel, StarHub subscriber information

Sometime in 2015, Lee – who has been convicted in a high-profile trial for dragging a traffic police officer with his car – asked Foo for help to retrieve customer details.

He offered Foo S$20 for each mobile number he checked. Foo initially said he would consider and eventually agreed.

As he had access to Singtel's system, he logged in and used his access rights to provide particulars of Singtel subscribers to Lee based on phone numbers the latter gave.

All the victims reported being harassed, with some receiving calls or messages and others having people show up at their homes demanding money.

Foo gained unauthorised access to Singtel's system between 2014 and July 2017, taking a total of S$180 in bribes from Lee, with the victims including Lee's ex-girlfriend.

As Foo owed Lee money from their drinking sessions, he agreed to have the sum of S$180 deducted from his debt to Lee.

In a statement after Foo's sentencing, a Singtel spokesperson told CNA that the company has "a zero tolerance policy for such misconduct and we expect our employees to serve with integrity and honesty". 

"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 spokesperson added.

Foo had been charged along with a former customer care consultant at StarHub, Zhang Jiazheng, who is accused of similar crimes. Zhang's case is pending.

READ: Maserati driver barred from driving for life, jailed more than four years for dragging police officer in escape bid

Lee was disqualified from driving for life and given more than four years' jail in July last year for dragging a traffic police officer with his Maserati in an escape bid.

He was convicted after the judge rejected his defence, which included an argument that it was another man known only as Kelvin who drove the car that day.

He is out on bail pending appeal, and faces other charges that are pending, including those linked with Foo's case. His trial is expected to begin in March.

Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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