SG woman, 63, charged with opening bank accounts which criminals used to launder scam proceeds
SINGAPORE: A 63-year-old woman was charged on Thursday (April 28) with conspiring to deceive two banks by opening accounts which the criminals behind internet romance scams then exploited.
The bank accounts were used to launder 121,000 Singapore dollars (RM381,175) stolen from three victims, police said on Friday.
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The defendant allegedly helped strangers gain unauthorized access to banks’ computer systems by giving them account login details and an ATM card.
She is also accused of providing a service of receiving money into her bank accounts to transfer it to another.
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Police said the three victims fell in love with people they met online through social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.
At the request of their “lovers”, they transferred 121,000 Singapore dollars (RM381,175) to them.
“Some of the money was transferred allegedly to help alleviate cash flow problems. Money was also transferred under the pretext of paying the necessary fees to release packages sent by their online lovers,” police said.
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Investigations revealed that the accused befriended strangers on Facebook in 2019.
The criminals asked for his help in receiving funds in Singapore for their businesses.
The accused opened two bank accounts and in doing so deceived the banks into believing that she was the only user.
She also sent an ATM card to an address in Malaysia and provided banking credentials to her “friends” online.
Police said that to avoid involvement in money laundering activities, the public should always reject requests to share the use of their banking services to receive and transfer funds.
They must not disclose Singpass login information, which can be misused for illegal transactions.
For conspiring to deceive a bank into opening an account, an offender can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined.
The offense of assisting others to secure unauthorized access to a bank’s computer system carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment and a fine of S$5,000 (RM15,751).
For providing a payment service in Singapore without a license, a violator can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to S$125,000 (RM393,776). – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network