Ex-SingTel customer care officer fined $6k for receiving kickbacks for fee waivers

Calvin Kam Mao Xiong, 27, a former SingTel employee who received kickbacks from friends for waiving portions of their phone bills, was fined $6,000 for corruption on Thursday, June 5, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 
Calvin Kam Mao Xiong, 27, a former SingTel employee who received kickbacks from friends for waiving portions of their phone bills, was fined $6,000 for corruption on Thursday, June 5, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 

SINGAPORE - A former SingTel employee who received kickbacks from friends for waiving portions of their phone bills was fined $6,000 for corruption on Thursday.

Calvin Kam Mao Xiong, 27, pleaded guilty to 10 charges of accepting bribes of between $40 and $215 from mobile phone subscribers to waive their bills. He was also ordered to pay a penalty of $2,698 for the bribes he took and another 30 similar charges were considered during his sentencing.

As a customer care officer with SingTel's mobile general enquiries and billing department, he was allowed to waive mobile subscription charges of up to $100 for customers to appease them if they called in to complain.

To do this he had to key in the details of the waiver into SingTel's ICON system.

Investigation showed that some time in 2010, Kam realised that he could access the ICON system to create the waivers without a customer actually calling in.

He devised a scheme whereby he would approach friends and acquaintances who were SingTel customers and offer to waive the charges in return for a portion of the fees waived, Deputy Public Prosecutor Haniza Abnass said.

He would create fictitious reasons to justify the waivers and used his colleagues' ICON user name and password to access the system.

Once the waivers had been effected, he would ask his friends to deposit an agreed amount into his POSB account.

Kam has repaid $6,785 to SingTel for losses it incurred as a result. He could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years on each charge.