A Freelancer Designer Jailed For Leaking Singapore Airlines Info.

Rex Zhang Jiahao, a freelance interior designer, has been handed an eight-month prison sentence for aiding a contractor in securing a project bid for Singapore Airlines. Jiahao collaborated with Lionel Low Jun Jie, a former employee of Singapore Airlines, to assist the contractor in winning the bid. Jiahao is the first individual to be sentenced after admitting guilt in August 2023 for accepting a financial commission from the contractor. Low, who encountered Jiahao during their reservist duties for Singapore, was employed as an assistant manager of properties (development) at Singapore Airlines. His responsibilities included preparing quotations, shortlisting contractors for interviews, and recommending the selected contractor to Singapore Airlines for project awarding.


Between late 2018 and 2019, Singapore Airlines initiated a tender to construct a two-story prefabricated building featuring 24 training classrooms. Upon discovering that Zhang was an interior designer, Low requested him to suggest building contractors for the project. Low proposed to Zhang that he could inform the potential contractor about his insider contact at Singapore Airlines who could help secure the tender, in return for a commission from the contractor.


Zhang consented to this arrangement, and they agreed to divide the commission equally. In 2018, Zhang reached out to Joseph Ang, manager of Lin Builders. Ang showed interest in the project and began preparing the necessary documents for bidding. To aid Ang in his preparations, Zhang shared confidential information from Low, including Singapore Airlines' project budget and anticipated timelines and milestones. The court learned that Low also revealed the SGD 2.5 million ($1.3 million) project budget so that Zhang could guide Ang to propose a lower quote.

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The project was ultimately awarded to Lin Builders for approximately SGD 2.17 million ($1.5 million). The company also secured a contract to provide furniture related to it. This was the most significant project that Lin Builders had procured and completed as of April 2021. According to court records, the commission paid by Ang to Zhang and Low exceeded SGD 207,000 ($151,000), which was disbursed through six cheques in 2019. In addition to his eight-month prison term, Zhang was also ordered to pay a penalty exceeding SGD 103,700 ($76,000).

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