Singapore police's Anti-Scam Centre makes its largest recovery of S$6.6 million

Singapore police's Anti-Scam Centre makes its largest recovery of S$6.6 million

anti-scam 2
The ASC was set up on Jun 18, 2019 as a “nerve centre” for investigating scam-related crimes and to disrupt scammers’ operations and help mitigate victims’ losses. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force's (SPF) Anti-Scam Centre has recovered S$6.6 million from an email scam, its largest recovery since the centre was set up in June last year.

The police said on Thursday (Oct 8) they were alerted by United Overseas Bank (UOB) and the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to a suspected case of money laundering last Saturday.

A foreign bank had contacted UOB to urgently recall US$5 million (S$6.79 million) that had been transferred to a Singapore-based UOB account belonging to a local company.

READ: Banking-related phishing scams spike more than 2,500% in first half of 2020

READ: Why scam cases continue to rise and what is being done about them

Preliminary investigations found that the fund transfer was linked to an alleged business email compromise scam, police said. The account was frozen and a portion of the money was recovered. 

Together with UOB, the Anti-Scam Centre managed to trace another fraction of the total amount and recalled a sum which had been transferred from the Singapore-based UOB account to a Malaysia-based UOB account. 

In all, S$6.6 million, or about US$4.91 million, were recovered, and police said they are still tracing the remaining amount.

The Big Read: Plump pickings for scammers? Trusting, unsuspecting Singaporeans need to raise their guard

The Commercial Affairs Department is also investigating the local company for its suspected involvement in the scam.

The police commended UOB for its help, saying the collaboration attests to the importance of working together to combat scams and transnational fraud. They also advised the public and businesses to be vigilant and wary about business email compromise scams.

"Such scams involve deceiving businesses through spoofing of company or client email addresses and making them transfer large amounts of monies into the wrong hands," the police said.

Source: CNA/kv(cy)

Bookmark