In an island-wide anti-scam enforcement operation conducted on 13 and 14 September 2022, officers from the Police Intelligence Department and Commercial Affairs Department arrested four men and two women, aged between 20 and 51, for their suspected involvement in money laundering activities. Another two women, aged 33 and 37, are being investigated for their suspected involvement in money laundering activities.
In June 2022, the Police received information that criminal proceeds arising from investment scams amounting to more than $4.5 million, were credited into several bank accounts in Singapore.
Preliminary investigations indicated that a 37-year-old man, had allegedly placed online advertisements and acquired bank accounts with ATM cards and pre-registered prepaid SIM cards from unknown individuals, who were paid at least $800 for each bank account and $50 each for pre-registered prepaid SIM card. He is also believed to have withdrawn money (criminal proceeds) from the bank accounts and was established to be the reseller of the fraudulently obtained bank accounts with ATM cards and pre-registered prepaid SIM cards, to facilitate illicit activities.
Preliminary investigations also revealed that another two men, aged 38 and 39, had allegedly withdrawn money from the bank accounts and later converted the criminal proceeds into cryptocurrencies since January 2022. The two women, aged 20 and 51, are believed to have facilitated in the money laundering activities by withdrawing money from the bank accounts and later handing the criminal proceeds to the 37-year-old man. Another bank account holder, a 32-year-old man, had allegedly sold and relinquished his bank account and ATM card to the 37-year-old man in July 2022.
Several case exhibits such as cash amounting to more than $19,000, 16 mobile phones, more than 30 pre-registered prepaid SIM cards and 150 ATM cards were found and seized from the possession of the 37-year-old man, the 38-year-old man, the 39-year-old man and the 51-year-old woman.
The three men will be charged in court on 15 September 2022. The 37-year-old man will be charged with the offence of assisting another to retain benefits from criminal conduct under Section 51 of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992. The two men, aged 38 and 39, will be charged with the offence of possessing benefits from criminal conduct under Section 54 of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992. Those convicted shall be punished with a fine of up to $500,000 and/or a jail term not exceeding 10 years.
Investigations against the 32-year-old man and four women are ongoing.
The Police will not hesitate to take action against anyone involved in arrangements to allow his or her bank accounts to be used for illegal purposes such as the laundering of criminal proceeds. To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to open and/or sell bank accounts, or receive money in their bank accounts, as they will be held accountable if these are linked to criminal activities.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
15 September 2022 @ 8:00 AM