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More than 1,000 mobile phone lines terminated in crackdown on scam syndicate activities

Two people were also arrested in the three-week police operation, with around 50 bank accounts frozen and more than S$210,000 seized.

More than 1,000 mobile phone lines terminated in crackdown on scam syndicate activities

An assortment of mobile phones and postpaid SIM cards seized during the three-week police operation in May. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: Two people have been arrested as part of a three-week operation to disrupt activities conducted by scam syndicates, the police said on Saturday (Jun 3).

The operation, which was carried out from May 8 to May 31, involved the termination of mobile phone lines and the freezing of bank accounts used in illicit activities.

More than 1,000 mobile phone lines were terminated and close to 50 bank accounts were frozen with more than S$210,000 (US$155,498) seized, the police said.

A 23-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were also arrested for their suspected involvement in the fraudulent registration of postpaid SIM cards by using the particulars of unsuspecting customers.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the man, who worked as a mobile phone shop assistant, had allegedly accessed and stolen the identification documents from his company’s mobile device used in the registration of postpaid SIM cards.

He then pre-registered postpaid SIM cards using the particulars of others and sold them to customers who wanted to purchase SIM cards without using their identities.

Investigations also showed that the woman allegedly abetted his offences by registering a shell company to procure unregistered postpaid SIM cards from a supplier.

An assortment of paraphernalia such as mobile phones and postpaid SIM cards were seized during the operation.

Twenty-five men and three women, aged between 22 and 43, are assisting in investigations. Their identities are believed to have been stolen.

The police added investigations are ongoing. The offence of illegally obtaining personal information carries a jail term of up to three years and a fine.

The offence of unauthorised modification of computer material carries a fine of up to S$10,000, a jail term up to three years, or both.

The offence of failing to use reasonable diligence in the discharge of duties as a director carries a fine of up to S$5,000 or a jail term of up to 12 months.

Fraudulently registered postpaid SIM cards can act as an anonymous communications channel for illicit activities such as unlicensed moneylending, scams and vice, according to the police.

Scam syndicates have also been found to perpetrate their criminal activities using such postpaid SIM cards to contact victims and to communicate among themselves to evade possible detection.

The police added it will continue to clamp down on errant mobile phone shop retailers and assistants who may be indirectly facilitating illegal activities. 

Members of the public are also advised to refrain from purchasing pre-registered prepaid or postpaid SIM cards and to keep an eye on their identification documents to prevent misuse during registration.

Source: CNA/sn


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