Three men charged over selling bank accounts to criminals, rental scam


SINGAPORE: Two men were charged in court on April 4 over separate offences relating to money laundering activities linked to scams, and one was charged over a case of rental scam.

Muhammad Aqid Rahmat, 28, is accused of sharing his OCBC and POSB bank accounts and his Singpass account with another person, who was not named in court documents.

Both his bank accounts were subsequently used to launder proceeds from job and investment scams, the police said in a statement on April 3.

The Singaporean had allegedly committed the acts in November 2022.

He had responded to an online job advertisement on messaging app Telegram that offered a monthly payment of $500. In exchange, Aqid had to open a crypto mining account and share his bank account details, login credentials and Singpass account.

Aqid’s case was adjourned to April 22 for further mention after he indicated that he would not be pleading guilty to the charges.

Separately, Wang Yuhang, 20, is accused of providing his bank account with CIMB Group to another person, who was not named in court documents.

The account was later used to launder proceeds from a job scam, the police said.

In October 2023, Wang had allegedly responded to an online advertisement on Telegram that offered $600 in exchange for Wang’s bank details and internet banking credentials.

Wang, who is currently serving his national service, did not enter a plea on April 4. His case has been fixed for further mention in court on May 8.

Between January and June 2023, more than 4,700 people were arrested or investigated for being money mules. In 2022, more than 7,800 people were nabbed for money mule offences.

“To avoid being an accomplice in these crimes, members of the public should always reject seemingly attractive money-making opportunities promising fast and easy payouts for the use of their Singpass accounts, bank accounts, or allow their personal bank accounts to be used to receive and transfer money for others,” the police said.

For abetting to secure unauthorised access to a bank’s computer system under the Computer Misuse Act, first-time offenders can be fined up to $5,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

Those convicted of unauthorised disclosure of access codes under the same Act can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

The Straits Times had previously reported that job and investment scams were among the top scam variants in Singapore.

At least $135.7 million was lost to job scams in 2023, while victims lost at least $204.5 million to investment scams in 2023.

Meanwhile, a 26-year-old Malaysian man is accused of cheating a victim by lying that he had a room available for rent.

On July 13, 2023, Yong Shou Guang had allegedly deceived the victim into transferring a deposit of $700 to secure the rental.

Court documents did not reveal how Yong came into contact with the victim.

The police said that Yong became uncontactable after the money was transferred. Investigations also revealed that Yong did not have any rooms to offer for rent.

Yong indicated that he would be pleading guilty to the charge on April 4. His case has been adjourned to April 25.

ST had previously reported that some 287 people lost at least $1.8 million between July and November 2023 to property rental scams.

In many of the cases, authorities said victims were pressured into making payments to secure viewings or rentals. Victims would discover that they had been scammed when scammers ceased contact with them.

Those convicted of cheating may be jailed for up to three years and fined. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , court , scam , rental

   

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