Taiwanese men charged over impersonation scam

Wang Wei-ciang (far right) and Wang Wei-ming were each charged with one count of dishonestly receiving stolen property.
Wang Wei-ciang (far right) and Wang Wei-ming were each charged with one count of dishonestly receiving stolen property.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Two accused of dishonestly receiving stolen property

Two Taiwanese men recently pleaded guilty in a Singapore court to the roles they had played in a police impersonation scam.

Yesterday, two more of their countrymen were hauled to court here for their alleged involvement in a similar ruse.

Wang Wei-ciang, 23, and Wang Wei-ming, 25, are accused of one count each of dishonestly receiving stolen property. The Straits Times understands that the pair are not related to each other.

In a statement sent on Wednesday, police said a 31-year-old victim had made a report on Aug 4 that she had received a call from an unknown person claiming to be a police officer.

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She was told she was being investigated for money laundering offences, before the call was transferred to an unknown person who identified himself as a police officer from a foreign country.

The victim was instructed to key in her Internet banking details on a website link.

She then discovered that her bank account had been accessed illegally and about $45,100 had been transferred to an unknown bank account.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department followed up on the report and identified Wang Wei-ciang and Wang Wei-ming as suspects. The two were arrested on Tuesday.

Wang Wei-ming allegedly received $45,100 in cash from Wang Wei-ciang between Aug 4 and Tuesday .

Preliminary investigations revealed that the duo are believed to be involved in at least six other similar cases, in which victims lost a total of about $100,000.

They are now remanded at the Central Police Division and will be back in court on Aug 17.

If convicted of dishonestly receiving stolen property, they can each be jailed up to five years and fined.

In a separate case heard on Tuesday, Kuo Chih-chen, 32, admitted to three counts of dealing with benefits of criminal conduct while Ciou Wei-min, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of a similar charge.

Four other Taiwanese men were also charged in court last month for their involvement in police impersonation scams. Their alleged victims lost more than $800,000.

The police advised members of the public to take the necessary precautions when receiving unsolicited calls from unknown parties and to refrain from giving out personal information.

Those in doubt can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or dial 999 for urgent assistance.

For scam-related advice, the public can call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'Taiwanese men charged over impersonation scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe