Ex-StarHub salesperson jailed 17 months for misappropriating iPhones and assaulting taxi driver

iPhones. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

A former StarHub sales executive misappropriated 40 sets of iPhones by subscribing to extra mobile phone lines on behalf of unsuspecting customers — and while on bail for the offence, assaulted a taxi driver.

For committing criminal breach of trust (CBT), Kong Wei-Lee, 35, was jailed for 15 months on Monday (24 April). For voluntarily causing hurt to the taxi driver, Kong received a 2-month jail sentence. Both sentences will run consecutively.

The court heard that during the time of Kong’s offences, he was working as a sales executive in Vivocity’s StarHub outlet. His duties as a sales executive included dealing with walk-in customers, making sales and processing applications for phone lines.

Between September and November 2012, Kong signed up for phone lines which Starhub customers did not sign up for. He would sell the free Apple iPhone 5 handphone sets that were linked to these subscriptions and use the money for his own personal expenditures, the court heard.

The prosecution said that Kong “hid his fraud well that it went unnoticed for quite some time”. A manager eventually noticed and alerted StarHub’s risk management team. Kong’s offences were discovered following a review of CCTV footage.

While on bail for his CBT charge in 2015, Kong committed an offence involving taxi driver Loh Boon Hao. Kong met Loh, 32, while taking Loh’s taxi from Middle Road with a friend.

Loh dropped off Kong’s friend at Serangoon first, however Kong alighted temporarily to relieve himself. After returning to the taxi, Loh continued to drive Kong towards Tampines, where Kong lived.

However, Kong claimed that his wallet was missing, hence Loh returned to Serangoon for Kong to look for his wallet. After Kong searched the Serangoon vicinity, he asked Loh to drive him back to Tampines.

When they reached the car park facing Kong’s flat, Loh asked Kong to pay, but Kong replied that he had lost his wallet. Kong made several phone calls, allegedly for help. As he spoke on the phone, however, Kong alighted from the taxi and started moving away.

Loh followed Kong and confronted him, and an argument broke out between the two. Kong punched Loh, causing him to fall. He continued punching Loh on the back while balancing himself on Loh’s back.

A witness who saw the incident from the second floor of the flat called the police. As a result of the scuffle, Loh sustained scratches on his face, bruises on his back and abrasions on his elbow and fingers.

In mitigation, Kong’s defence counsel, Wilbur Lim, said that Kong had only alighted from the taxi to call to his sister in the flat. He added that the fight wasn’t a one-sided affair, as Kong had sustained scratches, swelling and abrasions as well.

For committing CBT as a clerk or servant, Kong could have been jailed up to 15 years and fined. For voluntarily causing hurt he could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.

Other Singapore stories:

Geylang Methodist student, 13, dies after goal post falls on him
Accident on Jurong Island leaves 1 dead, 9 injured
Hawker centre pushing incident: First person witness account