SINGAPORE: Two Malaysian men have been jailed for helping crime syndicates carry out China officials impersonation scams in Singapore, said the police on Wednesday (Jan 23).
Chow Wai Chung, 18, and Wong Seng Wai, 30 were convicted of money laundering and sentenced to 40 months and 32 months in jail respectively.
The victims had received calls from scammers purporting to be local or foreign law enforcement officers and were cheated into believing they were being investigated for transnational crimes, police said in a news release.
The victims were then ordered to surrender their money to the scammers for further investigations, the authorities added.
Chow worked for a syndicate as money mule and collected a total of S$392,600 from four victims between May 30 and Jun 1 last year. He was arrested on Jun 1 by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).
He pleaded guilty on Jan 18 to one charge for assisting another party in the retention and transfer of his criminal benefits, said police.
Wong, also a money mule for a syndicate, entered Singapore to collect money from victims.
He worked with accomplices to collect S$48,000 in cash from a victim on June 24 last year, as well as S$7,110 and RMB 5,020 (S$1,006) from two other victims between Aug 14 and 16. He was arrested during an operation on Aug 17.
Wong pleaded guilty to two charges under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offences Act on Jan 21.
His accomplices were all also arrested and charged in court.
Police have advised members of the public to take precautions when receiving unsolicited calls to surrender money in order to avoid criminal investigations.
They said to ignore such calls, adding that "no government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms ... or demand that you surrender cash to unnamed persons or ask you for personal banking information such as your Internet banking passwords".
Foreign residents should call their embassies or High Commission to verify such claims, said police.
For scam-related information and advice, members of the public may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.