Man gets jail for helping unknown person he met on Gumtree to transfer stolen funds

Man gets jail for helping unknown person he met on Gumtree to transfer stolen funds

Judge's gavel
File photo of a gavel. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A 29-year-old man was sentenced to four weeks’ jail on Monday (May 3) for abetting an unknown person to carry on a business of providing payment services without a licence.

Malaysian Marzuki Zakaria was promised a monthly salary of S$2,000 plus daily commission after he responded to Gumtree advertisement for a part-time job. He pocketed a total of S$137 for providing the payment services, the police said in a news release.

Investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department revealed that between Feb 18, 2020 and Feb 21, 2020, Marzuki had carried on a business of providing a payment service - a domestic money transfer service - by receiving 16 fund transfers totalling S$4,397 in his bank account, before transferring them to local bank accounts using PayNow.

These transactions were done on the instructions of an unknown person who had promised him the monthly salary and commission.

Of the S$4,379 deposited into his bank account, S$1,754 were proceeds of crime from victims of online scams, the police said.

"(Marzuki) did not have a licence to carry on a business of providing any type of payment service in Singapore and he was not an exempt payment service provider under the Payment Services Act 2019," the police added.

The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to the offence. He could have been jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$125,000, or both.

READ: Woman jailed for providing unlicensed payment service using Bitcoin

The police warned that scammers are recruiting people to transfer stolen money on their behalf.

“Scammers may advertise jobs that allow you to work from home and offer attractive salaries to perform relatively easy tasks like using your personal bank account to receive and transfer money," they said.

“Legitimate companies will not require you to utilise your personal bank account to receive money on their behalf.”

Source: CNA/vc

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