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Former Singtel employee gets jail for stalking ex-girlfriend, unauthorised access to customer information

Former Singtel employee gets jail for stalking ex-girlfriend, unauthorised access to customer information

Yap Wee Chian outside the State Courts on May 12, 2022. (Photo: TODAY/Ili Nadhirah Mansor)

SINGAPORE: A former Singtel employee was sentenced to eight weeks' jail on Thursday (May 12) for stalking his ex-girlfriend and accessing customer information without permission.

Yap Wee Chian, 35, pleaded guilty to two charges of unlawful stalking and unauthorised access to computer material. Two more charges were considered for sentencing.

Yap was previously a customer service officer with Singtel from 2011 to 2019. He and his then girlfriend, now 32, started a relationship in April 2019, and she moved in with him in November that year.

The court heard that during their relationship, Yap was possessive and often suspected that his girlfriend was speaking to other men.

Sometime in 2018, Yap was given access to a computer system to manage Singtel customers' complaints and verify their claims for mobile services.

He was able to access customers' mobile data usage, phone models, types of mobile apps used and other information through the system. Yap was told that he should not use his access for personal reasons.

In October 2019, Yap noticed that his girlfriend received a number of WhatsApp messages from another man, and became insecure.

Yap memorised the man's phone number. Between Oct 24, 2019 and Dec 13, 2019, he put in queries in the computer system to access the man's account information on 22 occasions.

Yap did this to determine whether the man and his girlfriend used mobile apps at the same time, according to court documents.

The police were alerted when a Singtel call centre manager made a report on Mar 10, 2020.


The court heard that during their relationship, Yap's girlfriend gave him the pin code to unlock her mobile phone. They also shared their email passwords.

Yap bought a new phone for his girlfriend in January 2020. He transferred all the data from her old phone to the new one, and took over her old phone.

In September 2020, Yap changed the password to his girlfriend's Facebook account by accessing her account on the old phone, resetting the password, and then accessing her email account to get Facebook's notification.

Yap's girlfriend ended their relationship on Oct 2, 2020 because she felt that he was insecure and controlling. She moved out to a room that she was renting in another flat.

Yap found out that the victim had moved to the flat and tried to meet her on several occasions to mend their relationship, but was unsuccessful.

After the split, he accessed the victim's Instagram account and changed the linked email address to his own.

He then accessed her Facebook and Instagram accounts on at least 139 occasions to check who she was speaking to on those platforms.

The victim found out about this and made a police report on Nov 7, 2020 as she feared for her safety.

By March 2021, it had become "clear to the accused that the victim no longer wanted to be together with him", stated court documents.

On Mar 9 last year, Yap took three pairs of the victim's shoes from the flat where she was staying and threw them away.

He did this because "he now hated the victim and felt that she had hurt him", according to court documents.

Between Mar 8 and Mar 10 that year, he also took two pairs of shoes belonging to the victim's landlord, who was related to her, and threw them away.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran sought the sentence of eight weeks' jail. He said that while Yap's ex-girlfriend did not feel any significant harassment, the stalking happened over a prolonged period of at least six months.

Yap also continued to stalk her even though she had made a police report, and despite knowing he was being investigated for offences under the Computer Misuse Act, said the prosecutor.

Mr Sukumaran also said that while Yap abused his role at Singtel to surveil the victim and the other man, he did not use the customer information for any "nefarious purposes".

As Yap and the victim had been in an intimate relationship, he was liable for enhanced punishment for the unlawful stalking offence.

Those convicted of unlawful stalking can be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000 or both.

The penalty for unauthorised access to computer material is jail for up to two years, a fine of up to S$5,000 or both.

Source: CNA/dv(gr)


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