SINGAPORE: A transnational Internet love scam syndicate that cheated at least 139 people out of about S$5.8 million has been crippled after a months-long joint operation between authorities in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a news release on Thursday (Nov 28) that the Malaysian-based syndicate had targeted victims in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau.
After 11 months of intelligence sharing between the four jurisdictions, 18 people in Malaysia were arrested last week.
The arrests included three Nigerian men, four Malaysian men and 11 Malaysian women.
Malaysian police also seized telecommunication devices and laptops.
Singapore officers also concurrently investigated four women for allegedly helping transfer money to the syndicate, they added. The women are aged between 28 and 67.
In all, there were 30 cases including losses of more than S$262,000 in Singapore, SPF said.
Commercial Affairs Department director David Chew thanked Malaysian police for leading the main operations in Malaysia.
“The success of this joint operation demonstrates the common resolve of the Singapore Police Force and its regional partners to fight transnational fraud, and sends a strong signal to cross-border scam syndicates that we will dismantle their networks and arrest their members, wherever they may be hiding,” he added.