SG woman, 63, charged with opening bank accounts that criminals used for laundering scam proceeds

The woman mailed an ATM card to an address in Malaysia and provided the banking credentials to her online ‘friends’. — The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE: A 63-year-old woman was charged on Thursday (April 28) with conspiring to cheat two banks by opening accounts that criminals behind Internet love scams then tapped.

The bank accounts were used to launder S$121,000 (RM381,175) cheated from three victims, the police said on Friday.

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The accused is said to have aided unknown individuals in gaining unauthorised access to the banks’ computer systems by giving them login details of the accounts, as well as an automated teller machine (ATM) card.

She is also accused of providing a service of receiving money in her bank accounts to transfer to another.

ALSO READ: Two women in Singapore to be charged for involvement in Internet love scams

The police said the three victims had fallen in love with people they met online via social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.

At the behest of their “lovers”, they transferred S$121,000 (RM381,175) to them.

“Some money was transferred purportedly to help ease cash flow problems. Money was also transferred on the pretext of paying for fees needed to release parcels sent by their online lovers,” said the police.

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Investigations found that the accused had befriended unknown individuals on Facebook in 2019.

The criminals requested her help to receive funds in Singapore for their businesses.

The accused opened two bank accounts and, in doing so, deceived the banks into thinking she was the sole user.

She also mailed an ATM card to an address in Malaysia and provided the banking credentials to her online “friends”.

The police said to avoid involvement in money laundering activities, the public should always reject requests to share the use of their banking facilities to receive and transfer funds.

They should not disclose Singpass login details, which can be misused for unlawful transactions.

For conspiring to cheat a bank into opening an account, an offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined.

The offence of aiding others to secure unauthorised access to a bank’s computer system carries a maximum penalty of a two-year jail term and a S$5,000 (RM15,751) fine.

For providing a payment service in Singapore without a licence, an offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to S$125,000 (RM393,776). – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network

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