SINGAPORE: On Tuesday, (29 Aug) a man was jailed for forwarding intimate images of customer’s fiancée to himself on Telegram.
While fixing a customer’s phone, a store employee entered a Telegram conversation between the customer and his fiancée.
He scrolled through their media gallery and came across private images and videos.
Subsequently, he sent the content to his own chat, but his actions were uncovered when the customer spotted the new chat window containing the forwarded media.
Following unsuccessful efforts to directly address the repairman, the customer opted to report the matter to the police instead.
As reported by CNA, the man, Loo Lung Tat, 26, was jailed for three months and six weeks on Tuesday (Aug 29).
He pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing intimate images without consent and another of obstructing justice by erasing the chat and removing the Telegram application.
Meanwhile, a third charge was taken into consideration.
The names of the victims are protected by a gag order.
Loo’s unauthorized access into customer data
The incident happened when Loo was working as a mobile technician at High Tech Mobile at Bugis Junction.
On 2021, (Jan 10), the customer, a 30-year-old man, accidentally dropped his phone, a OnePlus 7 Pro, and wanted the screen repaired.
His fiancée took the phone to the Bugis Junction store on his behalf around noon the following day.
She handed the phone to the shop assistant, Loo, who was tasked to repair it, and also provided him the password.
Loo promptly replaced the phone’s LCD screen and assessed its functionality on the same day.
However, despite confirming the phone’s proper functioning, Loo continued to use it illicitly, fully aware that he lacked authorization to access customer data on any devices.
Loo opened the Telegram application, and saw that the first chat window was between the customer and his fiancee.
He entered the chat and navigated through its media collection until encountering explicit photos and videos of the customer’s fiancée.
Subsequently, he chose approximately 40 of these media files to send to his own account, only to realize that he couldn’t proceed due to the customer not having his contact saved.
In response, Loo stored his number on the customer’s phone and proceeded to forward the images to himself.
This included at least three nude images of the fiancée.
Loo later claimed he had forwarded the images because he was feeling “stressed at work” and upset, stemming from his breakup with his own girlfriend in November 2020.
The phone was handed back on the very same day.
Customer discovered his “chat”
Around 6pm, the customer was using his Telegram application when he suddenly noticed a new chat window with someone named “Jacky.”
Unfamiliar with this person, he was taken aback to observe numerous images of his fiancée forwarded to Jacky within the chat.
Promptly, the customer entered text into the chat, inquiring about Jacky’s identity, yet no response was received.
Additionally, an attempt to call “Jacky” was made, but the call was declined.
At this point, Loo knew he had been caught in the act, and was scared and nervous.
Concerned that the customer might confront him, Loo proceeded to erase the entire chat and uninstall the Telegram app from his personal phone.
He held onto the hope that by eliminating the incriminating photos, which stood as evidence of his unlawful deeds, he could evade being reported to the authorities.
However, the customer called the police shortly after and Loo was arrested on the same day.
The customer had also taken a screenshot of the Telegram chat history before Loo could delete it.
Legal proceedings against Loo
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yohanes Ng had asked for seven to nine months’ jail, saying that Loo had taken advantage of the trust the customer gave him to “satisfy his own lust.”
“He not only violated his customer’s privacy by viewing the customer’s intimate communications and photos with his fiancée but went one step further to send these intimate photos to his own account, for his own viewing pleasure later,” said the prosecutor.
Ng pointed out that the customer’s fiancée was “entirely identifiable” in the images, which included her name and photos of her face.
Furthermore, Ng mentioned that even when apprehended in the midst of his actions, Loo declined to acknowledge his misconduct.
Instead, he proactively undertook measures to eliminate evidence and deter police involvement.
“Having committed the offence and having tried to avoid facing the consequences, the accused must now serve his time,” Ng concluded.
For knowingly possessing intimate images by sending the illegally obtained images to himself, Loo could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.
For obstructing the course of justice, he could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, or both.