Woman arrested over money laundering in relation to love scam

Woman arrested over money laundering in relation to love scam

A police officer arresting a suspect in Singapore
File photo of a police officer arresting a suspect. (Photo: Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: A 53-year-old woman will be charged on Thursday (Mar 18) for suspected money laundering in relation to an Internet love scam.

The victim of the alleged scam was a 71-year-old man who made a police report in June 2020. According to police, the man had befriended and developed a relationship with a woman online.

The woman claimed that she had sent him a parcel containing a large sum of money from overseas, which had been detained by Malaysian customs.

The man was then asked to make "anti-terrorism" fee payments to claim the parcel. He proceeded to transfer more than S$21,000 over two days to the woman's bank account in June 2020.

Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department identified the woman and arrested her on Wednesday.

According to preliminary investigations, the woman had allegedly assisted a foreign crime syndicate to receive and transfer the criminal proceeds.

She will be charged in court on Thursday with one count of assisting another party to retain his criminal benefits under 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 can be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to S$500,000, or both.

"A SERIOUS CRIME CONCERN"

Members of the public should not give their personal bank account details to any person or receive funds from unknown sources in their bank accounts, said the police.

Should they do so, they may be liable for assisting 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," said the police. 

"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 0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

Source: CNA/ic

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