3 men charged with crimes related to obtaining personal details of Singtel, StarHub customers

Zhang Jiazheng (left) and Kelvin Foo Cheek Ann leaving State Courts on Dec 16, 2020. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Three Singaporean men accused of committing crimes related to obtaining personal details of Singtel and StarHub customers appeared before a district court on Wednesday (Dec 16).

Two of them, Foo Cheek Ann Kelvin, 32, and Zhang Jiazheng, 38, are said to have used computers at their workplaces to illicitly access the subscriber databases of Singtel and StarHub respectively.

The third man, Lim Zong Xian Philbert, 33, faces three charges of bribing another man, Lee Cheng Yan, 37, with a total of $1,000 to get customers' details from the telcos in 2017.

Foo faces 15 charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act including allegedly getting information related to the address of Lee's ex-girlfriend in 2014.

He faces an additional charge of allegedly accepting $180 from Lee in 2016 in return for retrieving confidential details of Singtel customers.

Zhang faces nine counts of allegedly using a computer at his work place to get information relating to various StarHub subscribers' details between 2015 and 2017.

Lee was charged in 2018 for various offences and his case is pending.

Lim, Zhang, and Foo are scheduled to be in court next on Jan 13 next year.

Following Zhang's hearing on Wednesday, StarHub said it takes data security and privacy very seriously.

The company had revoked Zhang's access to their system and suspended him when the case first arose three years ago. He was fired in 2017 after their investigations found he breached the employee code of conduct.

"We also tightened our systems and processes as well as conducted additional staff awareness training on data protection, to further safeguard StarHub information. As the matter is now before the courts, it is not appropriate for us to comment on the ongoing judicial proceedings," StarHub added.

Those convicted of using a computer to secure access to data without authority can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $5,000 or both. Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to three years, fined up to $10,000 or both.

For each offence of corruption, offenders can be jailed up to five years, or fined up to $100,000, or both.

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