Three men, aged between 23 to 28, were charged in court on 30 December 2022 for their suspected involvement in money laundering activities linked to scams in two different cases.
In the first case, the Police said that they received a report in January 2022 from a female victim who had fallen prey to a China Officials Impersonation Scam.
Police investigations later revealed that a 23-year-old man who had chanced upon a Telegram message offering fast cash in exchange for Singpass credentials, had instigated his friend a 25-year-old man, to hand over his Singpass login details for the monetary benefits. A scam syndicate successfully registered three bank accounts with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) in the 25-year-old man’s name. These bank accounts were subsequently used to launder proceeds of crime amounting to more than $267,000.
In a separate case in June 2022, the Police received a report from a victim that she had fallen prey to a Bank Phishing Scam. Investigations revealed that in April 2022, a 28-year-old man was offered cash by his friend for opening a bank account and relinquishing the bank account. On 27 April 2022, he opened bank accounts with UOB Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Limited (OCBC Bank) and then relinquished the Debit/ATM card and i-Banking credentials to his friend for $100 per account. Both his UOB bank account and OCBC bank account were subsequently used to launder proceeds of crime amounting to more than $550,000.
The 28-year-old man also handed over his wife’s Singpass login details for $100. The scam syndicate used the relinquished information to register one company and one Development Bank of Singapore Limited (DBS) corporate bank account. Four other bank accounts with HSBC, Commerce International Merchant Bankers Berhad (CIMB), UOB and SCB were also opened in his wife’s name using her Singpass details. The bank accounts were subsequently used to launder proceeds of crime amounting to more than $4.6m.
The two men, aged 23 and 25, were charged in court on 30 December 2022 for their suspected involvement in knowingly conspiring to disclose Singpass login credentials to other persons which were later found to have been used in creating bank accounts to launder proceeds of crime by scam syndicates.
The 28-year-old man was charged in court on 30 December 2022 for his suspected involvement in knowingly opening two bank accounts with UOB Bank and OCBC. For deceiving UOB Bank and OCBC Bank into opening bank accounts, he will be charged in court. If convicted, he can be imprisoned for a term of up to three years, or with fine, or both.
For relinquishing the bank account’s Debit/ATM card and i-Banking credentials, he will be charged under the Computer Misuse Act 1993. The offence carries a fine of up to $5,000, or an imprisonment for a term of up to two years, or both, for first time offenders; and a fine of up to $10,000, or an imprisonment for a term of up to three years, or both, for subsequent convictions.
For conspiring in disclosing the Singpass login details, the trio will be charged in court under a different section of the Computer Misuse Act 1993. The offence carries a fine of up to $10,000, or an imprisonment term of up to three years, or both, for first time offenders; and a fine of up to $20,000, or an imprisonment term of up to five years, or both, for subsequent convictions.
The Police said that they take a serious view of these offences, and that they will not hesitate to take action against individuals who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
To avoid being an accomplice to crime, members of the public should always reject seemingly attractive money-making opportunities promising pay-outs for the use of their Singpass account, bank accounts or allow their personal bank account to be used to receive and transfer money for others.
The Police reminded members of the public that individuals will be held accountable if they are found to be linked to such crimes. The Police asked anyone with information on such scams to call the Police Hotline or to submit the relevant information online.