Man to be charged with money laundering offences linked to S$10 million COVID-19 scam

Man to be charged with money laundering offences linked to S$10 million COVID-19 scam

File photo of surgical mask
File photo of a man holding out a surgical mask. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: A man will be charged on Wednesday (Feb 24) with money laundering offences linked to a COVID-19 scam in which a company was cheated of more than S$10 million, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Tuesday.

In the middle of March 2020, the police were alerted to a case of an overseas pharmaceutical firm being defrauded of €6.636 million (about S$10.2 million) for the purchase of surgical masks and hand sanitisers.

After the company transferred the money to a local bank, the items were not delivered and the supplier became uncontactable, said SPF in a news release.

Following investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man who had received the money and arrested him on Mar 25 last year.

Further investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department suggested that the man "allegedly had reasonable grounds to believe that the money was criminal proceeds" when he received it, said SPF.

The 40-year-old Singaporean man also purportedly used, transferred and removed part of the money from Singapore, the police added.

READ: More than S$201 million cheated in top 10 scam types last year - police

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If found guilty of money laundering, the man may be fined up to S$500,000, jailed for up to 10 years or both.

"The police take a serious view of all those who take advantage of the current COVID-19 situation to perpetrate crimes. We will spare no efforts in taking all those who flout the laws to task," said SPF.

Source: CNA/jt