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Man Charged For Cheating A Local Bank Into Opening A Corporate Bank Account Which Enabled Laundering Of Proceeds In A China Officials Impersonation Scam

A 32-year-old man was charged today for allegedly conspiring with an unknown person to deceive a local bank into opening a corporate bank account for his sole proprietorship, on the belief that the accused would be the sole operator of the account. The accused is also alleged to have abetted unknown persons to secure unauthorised access to the bank’s computer system when he provided them with the internet banking login credentials of the corporate account. This bank account was used by a criminal syndicate to launder proceeds of crime, including money cheated from a 61-year-old Singaporean victim in a China Officials Impersonation Scam (“COIS”).

In April 2021, the victim received a phone call from someone purporting to be a staff from a local bank. The victim was informed that his personal information had been used to apply for a credit card in People’s Republic of China. Purportedly, the call was routed to the “Chinese Police” who accused him of his involvement in transnational money-laundering activities. The victim was then instructed to assist in the “Chinese Police” investigations by providing his internet banking login credentials to his four bank accounts in order to prove his innocence.

On the same day that the victim provided his login credentials to his bank accounts, the syndicate transferred a total of $600,000 out from the victim’s bank accounts to bank accounts that were under the syndicate’s control. The accused’s corporate bank account was among the bank accounts that received the victim’s funds.

Investigations also revealed that in February 2021, in return for a reward of $500, the accused allowed an acquaintance to register a sole proprietorship in his name.

For allegedly conspiring to cheat the bank into opening the bank account, which act is likely to cause harm to the reputation of the bank, the accused faces a charge under Section 417 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code 1871. If convicted, he is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or a fine, or both.  For allegedly abetting persons to secure unauthorised access to the bank’s computer system, he has been charged under Section 3(1) read with Section 10 and Section 11A of the Computer Misuse Act 1993. If convicted, as a first-time offender, he is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

To avoid becoming involved in money laundering activities, members of the public should always reject requests to share the use of their banking facilities to receive and transfer funds, as well as guard against disclosing their Singpass login details which can be misused for many transactions.

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 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

 


PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
27 April 2022 @ 7:30 PM
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