SINGAPORE: A Malaysian crime syndicate believed to be behind scams involving hundreds of victims in Singapore has been crippled in a joint investigation by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Royal Malaysia Police, SPF said in a news release on Friday (Jun 25).
In a raid on four locations on Monday, Johor police rounded up 22 Malaysians - 11 men and 11 women aged between 15 and 28 - suspected to be part of the syndicate, seizing 48 telecommunications devices, 12 laptops and training booklets, said SPF.
The group is believed to be behind job scams involving more than 250 victims in Singapore this year, SPF added.
Officers from the SPF's Commercial Affairs Department and Malaysia's Johor Police Contingent and Commercial Crime Investigation Department were involved in dismantling the Johor-based syndicate.
The director of Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department David Chew on Friday thanked his Malaysian counterparts for their "strong support and commitment in tackling transnational crime syndicates".
Mr Chew said the syndicate had "used various means to reach victims across international boundaries with bogus job offers that promised lucrative returns".
Victims were asked to place orders on e-commerce platforms and make payment to third-party bank accounts to boost the merchants' online ratings, Mr Chew said.
He urged members of the public to "protect themselves and their loved ones from falling pray to scammers" even as the police "continue this fight against scams".
To this end, the police will continue to work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies, SPF said.
The police have also advised members of the public not to accept "dubious job offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort" and to verify the authenticity of job offers with the official e-commerce website.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.