Two Malaysian men have been arrested for allegedly impersonating Chinese officials in phone scams, Singaporean Police Force (SPF) said in a press conference yesterday, June 5
The 18- and 33-year-old were caught by the police who raided their place in Singapore on Monday and seized stacks of cash amounting to SGD590,000 (RM1.75 million). It is the largest amount of cash seized in scams this year.
Among the items found included a banknote counter, a hard disk consisting of CCTV footage belonging to the accused, and two mobile phones, reported Today Online.
Earlier this month, the duo allegedly scammed two women of a total of SGD410,000 (RM1.2 million)
The women, aged 51 and 55, both received calls from scammers claiming to be Chinese police officials investigating a transnational money laundering crime. They told the women to withdraw all of their savings to help with their investigations.
The 51-year-old woman then transferred SGD100,000 (RM299,000) while the second woman handed SGD310,000 (RM924,000) to an unknown man.
According to the news report, the 18-year-old is a permanent resident who was waiting to further his studies there, while the 33-year-old man was in Singapore on a social visit.
The two men also had an accomplice, 18-year-old Malaysian Chow Wai Chung, who was arrested on Saturday, 2 June.
The Singaporean police are currently conducting further investigations to identify any other victims of the scam.
The two men, however, were not the first scammers to impersonate police officials this year
Last month, a 31-year-old Malaysian also allegedly cheated a woman out of SGD5.4 million (RM16 million). The woman was instructed to transfer all of her money to help with "police investigations".
Earlier this week, a Taiwanese man who also impersonated a police officer was charged for cheating seven people out of roughly RM2.9 million.
In another case in March, two Taiwanese men aged 24 and 25 were arrested for dishonestly handing and receiving hundreds of thousands of Singaporean dollars of victims to an international syndicate. The men were also reported to have pretended to be police officials.
Impersonation scams are becoming more frequent, the SPF said during the press conference
However, David Chew, director of the Singaporean police's Commercial Affairs Department noted that such scams are "very preventable".
The police advised the public to ignore calls claiming to be a foreign government official demanding for money, as it is most likely a scam.
The public are also reminded to refrain from giving out personal information and bank details either on websites or over the phone.
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