Jail for ex-Miss Universe Singapore contestant who used friends' card details to shop online

Ashley Rita Wong Kai Lin had committed the offences in 2016 after a break-up with her boyfriend. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A former Miss Universe Singapore contestant who memorised her friends' debit card details and used these to spend $2,000 online was on Thursday (Feb 11) sentenced to six weeks' jail.

Ashley Rita Wong Kai Lin, 27, had pleaded guilty in December last year to four counts of accessing materials on a computer without authority. The charges involved about $1,000 in total.

During sentencing, the court also considered 27 other similar charges involving the remaining amount.

The Singaporean, who was a Miss Universe Singapore contestant in 2017, had committed the offences in 2016 after a break-up with her boyfriend.

One of her victims was a friend - Mr Andrew Lim, 28. When she noticed he had left his wallet on a table, she removed a debit card and memorised the details before returning it to the wallet.

Between Sept 7 and Sept 24 in 2016, she used the information to make online purchases totalling more than $700 on platforms such as Lazada Singapore.

After Mr Lim found out about the unauthorised transactions, he confronted Wong and she admitted to the crime.

The court heard that Wong had earlier memorised the debit card details of another friend, 26-year-old Kimberly Gwee.

On July 18, 2016, Wong used the information to pay $264.83 for accommodation at Hotel Clover.

Her offences came to light when Ms Gwee could not make online payments with the debit card as her bank account had insufficient funds.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ivan Khoo said that there should have been money in the account as Ms Gwee's father had transferred monies to her before she attempted to make the transactions.

When she checked her account, she spotted the Hotel Clover charge.

Ms Gwee initially suspected that her former boyfriend was responsible and confided in Wong, but later discovered that it was her friend who did it.

When confronted, Wong admitted that she was responsible. Ms Gwee later alerted her bank, which refunded the full sum.

The bank also managed to recover the sum from Hotel Clover through a charge-back process. Wong has since made full restitution to the hotel.

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

A repeat offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $10,000.

Correction note: An earlier version of the report said one of Wong's friends is named Ms Kimberly Qwee. The Attorney-General's Chambers said it had misstated the name, which should be Ms Kimberly Gwee.

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