Money-mule suspect taken to alleged crime scenes

Kuo Fang Ling was taken to a bank branch in Hougang Central and a convenience store in Geylang.
Kuo Fang Ling was taken to a bank branch in Hougang Central and a convenience store in Geylang.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

A Taiwanese woman facing charges for her role in a money-mule scheme was yesterday taken by police to the places where she allegedly collected cash from a 23-year-old woman and passed it to a syndicate member.

Kuo Fang Ling, 25, had been charged on Tuesday with receiving stolen money and is believed to have also played a role in at least three other cases involving more than $180,000.

The suspect is believed to be part of a money-mule syndicate that impersonates police officers to trick vulnerable victims into moving ill-gotten monies for them.

Kuo was taken to an area outside the United Overseas Bank branch in Hougang Central, where it is believed she had collected $10,000 from the victim on the morning of July 29.

The victim had received what seemed to be an overseas call and was told she was being investigated by the police for money laundering, and that she had to provide her bank-account details for investigations. The woman complied and later found $10,000 credited into her bank account from an unknown source.

She was also told by the caller to withdraw the money and pass it to an undercover officer at a UOB branch in Hougang, where she met Kuo.

Kuo allegedly passed the cash to a man outside a 7-Eleven store in Lorong 10, Geylang the next day. The police yesterday took Kuo - who was in hand and leg restraints - to that convenience store.

The Straits Times understands that in one of the three other cases, another 23-year-old woman was nearly led to withdraw and pass $100,000 to the syndicate.

If convicted of dishonestly receiving stolen property, Kuo could be jailed for up to five years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2017, with the headline 'Money-mule suspect taken to alleged crime scenes'. Print Edition | Subscribe