SINGAPORE: At least two women here have lost a total of S$290,000 (RM897,603) to Internet love scams using a parcel ruse to trick them into sending money to the scammers.
One victim, a 48-year-old woman, had befriended a man online who claimed to have sent her a parcel in December 2020, the police said in a statement on Tuesday (March 1).
She then received several phone calls telling her that the parcel had been held back by Singapore Customs and she needed to pay certain fees for it to be released.
The victim transferred S$16,000 (RM49,522) to a corporate bank account in Singapore, as instructed. When she was asked to make more payments a few days later, she realised she had been cheated and made a police report.
The police said investigations showed that a 58-year-old victim had also transferred S$274,000 (RM848,080) to the same bank account after falling prey to the love scam.
On Tuesday, a Singaporean woman was charged in court for allegedly being in possession of S$290,000 (RM897,603) in criminal proceeds.
Charge sheets said that Noorul Ayn Abdul Shukoor, 47, then the director of Shaahi Restaurant, had on three occasions in December 2020 received funds that were suspected of being benefits from criminal conduct.
She also faces a charge for failing to maintain accounting records under Section 199 of the Companies Act.
Noorul is alleged to have owned the bank account used to receive funds from the two victims, and had failed to satisfactorily explain how she came by the funds.
She is currently out on S$15,000 (RM46,427) bail and is expected to be back in court on March 22.
Those convicted of possessing or using property that may be reasonably suspected of being criminal benefits can be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$150,000 (RM464,407), or both.
The offence of failing to maintain accounting records under the Companies Act carries a fine of up to S$5,000 (RM15,480), or a jail term of up to 12 months. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network