Man arrested for acting as money mule

Police have arrested a 23-year-old man suspected to have acted as a money mule in a series of online sales scams earlier this year.

Between April and June, police said they received numerous reports from victims who had ordered smartphones and tablet computers after seeing advertisements posted on various popular websites. The goods were priced below market rate.

After they transferred the money to the bank account provided by the online sellers, the buyers did not receive their orders.

Some of the victims were cheated into making further payment, after the sellers informed them of "mixed-delivery orders", where additional goods were delivered or that the goods had been held at customs and the buyers had to bear the additional costs.

After extensive investigations, officers from Jurong Police Division arrested the 23-year-old suspect in the vicinity of Jurong West. The suspect is believed to have been recruited as a money mule, whose role was to remit any inflow of funds to an overseas bank account, for which he would earn a percentage as commission.

If found guilty of dishonestly receiving stolen property, he faces jail time of five years, a fine, or both. For the offence of transferring benefits of criminal conduct, he may be jailed up to seven years, fined up to $500,000, or both.