Saturday, 24 Oct 2020

Former DBS wealth planning manager jailed 12 weeks for selling personal information of customers

SINGAPORE – A former DBS Bank wealth planning manager was jailed for 12 weeks on Tuesday (Sept 29) for accessing the personal information of 37 customers and selling the information to a data broker for profit.

The man, Terry Tang Jia Lin, 29, made about $900 from the sale to a co-accused person, Goh Kok Liang, between April to July last year.

Goh, also 29, then sold the personal details of the customers to buyers which included unlicensed moneylenders.

Tang faced one charge under the Computer Misuse Act, with another similar charge taken into consideration for his sentencing.

According to court documents, the pair met through a mutual friend in 2016.

In April 2019, they met in a nightclub at Orchard Hotel and Goh asked Tang if he was able to help him screen the personal information of various individuals.

Tang said that if Goh provided him with identifying details of an individual such as their NRIC number, mobile phone number, e-mail address or bank account number, he could provide Goh with the individual’s address, family member’s details, employment details and account balance.

As part of his job then, Tang was allowed access to DBS customers’ personal information in the bank’s secure computer system. However, he was authorised to use the system only to evaluate his customers’ risk level in order to recommend financial products to them.

Goh offered Tang $100 for every four screening requests that he performed.

The court heard that Tang neither verified nor looked into the nature of Goh’s business. He also did not find out what Goh intended to do with the personal information.

Despite knowing that he was not authorised to access the computer system for this purpose, Tang then logged in to DBS’ secure computer system and keyed in the identifying details, generating the individual’s personal information.

He then supplied Goh with the personal information over WhatsApp under the name “Ted Fat” before being arrested on Aug 5.

Court documents did not reveal how Goh was dealt with.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Chong argued for Tang to be sentenced to 15 weeks’ imprisonment, noting that he “exploited his position and breached the trust reposed in him by virtue of his capacity as an officer of the bank”.

Although defence counsel Kalidass Murugaiyan urged the court to consider a community-based sentencing for Tang, Deputy Presiding Judge Jennifer Marie said that this was “not appropriate”.

She called Tang’s acts a “breach of trust”, adding that his use of a moniker showed premeditation to commit the crimes.

In sentencing, she said: “(Tang is) not someone to have been so naive to have been misled or misguided.”

The Straits Times has contacted DBS for comment.

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