Three men, aged 19, 22 and 33, will face trial on September 2, 2022 for their alleged involvement in offenses related to money laundering activities.
In the first case, the 19-year-old allegedly made a deal with a stranger on Telegram to open bank accounts and hand over control of those accounts to the stranger in exchange for money. The man allegedly tricked the banks into opening two bank accounts, then handed over the username, password, and one-time password (“OTP”) for both bank accounts to the unknown person . The man will be accused of cheating and encouraging strangers to gain unauthorized access to banks’ computer systems.
In the second case, the 22-year-old reportedly responded to a Facebook post in November 2021 offering him quick cash if he agreed to lease his bank account. He was contacted by a stranger who offered him RM1,600 per month in exchange for his bank account. Afterwards, the man allegedly provided the username, password and OTP of his bank account to the unknown person. The man will be accused of helping strangers gain unauthorized access to the bank’s computer system.
In the third case, the 33-year-old allegedly responded to a message from a website offering him quick cash to sell his bank account. He contacted a stranger who offered him 900 Singapore dollars in exchange for his bank account and prepaid SIM card. Afterwards, the man allegedly provided the unknown person with the ATM card with PIN code, online banking login username, password and OTP of his bank account and prepaid SIM card. The man will be accused of helping another control the benefits of criminal conduct.
These compromised bank accounts were then used to launder proceeds of crime from various scams. At least eight people have been victims of these scams and a total of at least $370,000 has been laundered and lost through these bank accounts.
The offense of cheating under Section 417 of the Penal Code 1871 is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years, or a fine, or both.
The offense of unauthorized access to computer equipment under section 3(1) of the Computer Misuse Act 1993 is punishable by imprisonment for up to two years , a fine of up to $5,000, or both. For repeat offenders, the offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
The offense of assisting another person to control the profits of criminal conduct under section 44(1)(a) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes Act 1992 (forfeiture of profits) is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to S$500,000, or both.
The police take a serious stand against anyone who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with according to the law. To avoid being complicit in these crimes, members of the public should always reject seemingly attractive money-making opportunities promising quick and easy payments for the use of their bank accounts, or allowing their personal accounts to be used to receive and transfer money for others. Remember that you will be held responsible if these are related to crimes.
For more information on the scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information about such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.