20 weeks' jail for SAF captain who used credit card details of others to buy e-vouchers online

Posed photo of a person holding 6 credit cards. Yang Jiafeng bought from Mr Tree multiple credit card details belonging to others. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE- A captain with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) bought multiple credit card details that belonged to others from someone he met on the Dark Web.

The Dark Web contains websites that are not indexed by search engines such as Google. It is accessible only by special software whereby users and website operators can remain anonymous as well as untraceable.

After that, Yang Jiafeng, who was from the SAF Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Training Centre, went online and unlawfully used the information to buy 88 e-vouchers worth more than $10,000 in total.

The Straits Times understands that he has since been suspended from the SAF.

Yang, 32, was sentenced on Monday (Feb 17) to 20 weeks' jail after he pleaded guilty to three counts of causing a computer to access without authority the data in another computer.

The offences fall under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng Yuxi said the SAF regular officer got to know the netizen known only as "Mr Tree" through an online forum on the Dark Web.

The pair started communicating with each other via an e-mail service provider called Sharklaser.com, which automatically deletes e-mails after a few hours.

Yang then bought from Mr Tree multiple credit card details belonging to others, and some of them involved Maybank.

He paid Mr Tree with bitcoins but court documents did not reveal the amount.

Yang later created three accounts on an online application called Fave, which is a mobile payment and deals platform.

The court heard that one of its main features called "Fave deals" offers discounts in areas such as food and beverage, travel, and beauty and wellness.

Another feature is known as "Fave Pay", which is an accepted mode of payment for selected merchants.

Yang linked the credit card credentials he bought from Mr Tree to his three Fave accounts.

Between end-February and early April 2018, Yang used the Fave accounts to purchase e-vouchers through "Fave deals".

He then refunded these vouchers to obtain online credits from Fave.

After that, he used the credits to buy items from merchants that supported the "Fave Pay" function.

His offences came to light when a fraud analyst from Maybank Singapore alerted the police on May 8, 2018.

He later made full restitution, the court heard.

On Monday, District Judge Marvin Bay told Yang: "The criminal acts you have admitted to are sadly unbecoming of an officer in our armed forces, who has attained the rank of captain."

Yang is now out on bail of $10,000 and will surrender himself at the State Courts on Feb 24 to begin serving his sentence.

For each charge under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, first-time offenders can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $10,000.

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