The Police have arrested a 47-year-old woman for suspected money laundering in relation to Internet love scams.
On December 2019 and May 2020, the Police received two reports from victims of Internet love scams who were asked by online scammers to transfer a total of $6,900 to local bank accounts. The victims had unsuspectingly befriended scammers on social media platforms and developed relationships. The scammers then instructed the victims to transfer money for various fictitious purposes, such as business loans, legal fees or courier fees for parcels that the scammers claim to be sending to the victims.
Through investigations, officers form the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the woman and arrested her on 18 November 2020. Preliminary investigations revealed that the bank accounts belong to the woman. The woman allegedly assisted a foreign crime syndicate to receive and transfer the criminal proceeds. She will be charged in court on 19 November 2020 with two counts of assisting another party to retain his criminal benefits under Section 44(1)(a) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offences (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.
Anyone found guilty of assisting another to facilitate the retention of benefits from criminal conduct under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offences (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, faces up to 10 years' imprisonment, a fine up to S$500,000, or both.
The Police would like to warn members of the public that they should not give their personal bank accounts to any person or receive funds from unknown sources in their bank accounts. Should they do so, they may have assisted others to launder monies from criminal activities. Their bank accounts will be frozen, and they will be subjected to criminal investigation and possible prosecution in court.
Internet love scams remain a serious crime concern. To avoid falling prey to these scams, members of the public should be careful when befriending strangers online. They should also be wary when being asked to receive and/or transfer money to people whom they do not know. For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police hotline at 1800-255 0000or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
18 November 2020 @ 6:25 PM