Fake credit card syndicate member gets 4 years' jail

SINGAPORE - A general worker who came to Singapore to make fraudulent purchases with fake credit cards was jailed for four years on Friday (June 5) for conspiracy to cheat and using the fake cards.

Malaysian Bryan Kung Ven Hong, 22, who was part of a transnational counterfeit credit card syndicate, admitted to four of 11 charges.

A district court heard that Kung incurred gambling debts to a man known only as Leon in Sabah, Malaysia, some time in May or June in 2014.

On March 20 this year, Leon suggested to Kung to work for him to clear the debts.

Kung's job was to use fake credit cards to buy expensive items like watches, and he was promised a commission of 10 per cent of the total price of the items he successfully bought.

On March 30, Kung, who flew to Johor Baru, was introduced to alleged accomplice Kek Chee Long, 24, a Malaysian. Both were given seven fake cards with their names embossed.

The two men were told to buy expensive items and were promised an iPhone as a reward if the value of the purchases amounted to $20,000.

Kung was also told that after the trip to Singapore, he would be going to Korea next to shop with the fake cards.

Both Kung and Kek arrived in Singapore by bus on March 30.

Kung went to Uniqlo at Ion Orchard and used the card to buy shirt and pants worth about $80. He wore the new clothes to "look presentable'' when making fraudulent purchases of expensive items.

Kung went to Tag Heuer boutique and chose four watches totalling $52,160. The transaction failed. The sales staff took a picture of the counterfeit card and sent it to United Overseas Bank for verification. It was found to be counterfeit and police were informed. Kung was arrested at the shop.

Kek has been charged and his case is in pre-trial conference stage.

elena@sph.com.sg