Ex-StarHub staff accessed system to retrieve 'debtors' details for friend

·Senior Reporter
·2-min read
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — A StarHub employee who agreed to access the telco’s database in order to hand over customer details to a friend was jailed for 10 weeks on Monday (20 September).

Zhang Jiazheng’s friend, Lee Cheng Yan, had asked him for the details of persons who owed him money from drinking and gambling sessions.

Lee is the convicted Maserati driver who dragged a police officer while attempting to escape as he was driving while under a ban. He was sentenced to four years and seven months’ jail for offences, including for voluntarily causing grievous hurt to a Traffic Police officer. He was also given a $3,700 fine and a lifetime driving ban.

Zhang, 39, knew Lee from their secondary school days. The two would meet occasionally for drinks and meals and Lee knew that Zhang worked for StarHub.

Zhang pleaded guilty to three out of nine counts of unauthorised access to computer material. He is no longer with StarHub. Past media reports state that StarHub terminated Zhang in 2017 after finding that he had breached the employee code of conduct. 

Had access to customer information

As a customer care consultant, Zhang was tasked with checking re-contract eligibility for existing StarHub customers, and checking installation appointments and rescheduling of appointments for customers.

In 2015, Lee asked Zhang for help to retrieve customer details from StarHub’s system using their mobile numbers. He wanted the details of those who owed him money. Zhang agreed despite knowing that he was not allowed to do so.

On nine occasions between 2015 and 2017, Zhang logged onto the system through his work desktop computer and retrieved details, including home addresses, of the persons Lee required.

All the StarHub customers whose details Zhang retrieved reported that they were harassed via phone calls, text messages and people showing up at their houses demanding for money to be returned.

Lee’s case is fixed for a pre-trial conference on 6 October.

Another co-accused, Kelvin Foo Cheek Ann was jailed for 18 weeks on 26 January for leaking the telco’s customer data to Lee in return for cash. Foo was a retail consultant at a Singtel shop when he accessed the telco's computer system to retrieve data. 

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