Ex-telco employee sentenced to jail, caning, fine and penalty for various offences

Tay Kunhong, a former M1 customer service officer, was sentenced to 17 months' jail, three strokes of the cane and a $90,000 fine.
Tay Kunhong, a former M1 customer service officer, was sentenced to 17 months' jail, three strokes of the cane and a $90,000 fine.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A former M1 customer service officer, who committed a series of crimes ranging from helping loan sharks to computer misuse, was sentenced to 17 months' jail, three strokes of the cane and a $90,000 fine on Thursday (Feb 18).

Tay Kunhong, 33, was also ordered to pay a penalty of $5,400 for accepting bribes from a loan shark in exchange for obtaining M1 customers' particulars.

He also gave bribes to his friend, Choo Kok Leong, 36, then a customer retention officer with Singtel, as reward for helping him obtain various persons' particulars from Singtel's subscriber database.

Tay, who faced a total of 269 charges, pleaded guilty to eight charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jeremy Yeo Shenglong said that some time in March last year, Tay was contacted by an unlicensed moneylender called Alvin from whom he had taken loans.

Alvin proposed sending Tay lists of NRIC or mobile phone numbers which Tay would screen in M1's customer database.

If any of the information provided corresponded to an M1 customer in the database, Tay would record that customer's full particulars and send them to Alvin by e-mail. In exchange, Tay would be paid $5 for each M1 customer whose particulars were provided.

At Alvin's request for contacts working in other telecommunications providers, Tay contacted his friend, Choo, and made a similar arrangement with him.

Choo was to screen Alvin's lists of NRIC or mobile phone numbers in Singtel's customer database and record the customer's name, contact numbers and addresses upon finding a corresponding Singtel customer. He would e-mail the details to Tay, who would pay him $5 for each person whose particulars were given.

Tay would transmit the customer information to Alvin who agreed to pay $10 for each Singtel customer whose particulars were provided.

Some time around March last year, Tay helped a licensed moneylender screen M1's customer database after the moneylender had pressed him to repay his loans.

He did this by using his desktop computer to access M1's system and sent the details to the moneylender.

In another case, Tay handed over his ATM card to a loan shark to help him in his moneylending business in exchange for $250 for his help.

In September last year, he accepted a loan shark's offer of $200 to splash paint and write on the walls of a debtor's home in Admiralty Link.

Tay's bail has been extended until March 4 when he will start his prison sentence.

Meanwhile, Choo was jailed seven months on Monday (Feb 15) after admitting to four corruption and three computer misuse charges with 21 others taken into consideration. He was also ordered to pay a penalty of $1,475.