Malaysian man nabbed in KL and taken to Singapore over $5.4m scam here

SINGAPORE - A 20-year-old Malaysian man has been arrested in Kuala Lumpur for his suspected involvement in a $5.4 million scam committed here.

The man was arrested on Tuesday (Jan 16) and was taken back to Singapore on Thursday with the assistance of the Royal Malaysian Police, said the Singapore Police Force in a statement.

He will be charged in court on Friday for dishonestly receiving stolen property. If convicted, he faces up to five years in jail or a fine, or both.

The man is one of the suspects involved in an impersonation scam, which cheated a woman of $5.4 million.

Last November, the scammers told the woman they were China officials and that she had to surrender all her money to them to assist in investigations.

She then delivered the money to different strangers at various locations in Singapore over a one-week period.

The suspects then left Singapore after committing the crime, said the police statement.

Director of Commercial Affairs Department David Chew thanked the Malaysian police for their "strong support and assistance" in arresting the suspect.

He added: "We will spare no effort to identify, arrest and charge these criminals and their money mules.

"While they may try to try to leave Singapore to evade responsibility for their criminal acts, this arrest is testament to the continuing resolve of the police, both here and abroad, to bring them to justice."

The police also advised members of the public to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls to surrender money in order to avoid criminal investigations:

- Ignore such calls and the caller's instructions. No government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms (WeChat or Facebook); or ask you for personal banking information such as your Internet banking passwords.

- For foreigner residents receiving calls from persons claiming to be police officers or government officials from your home country, please call your Embassy/High Commission to verify the claims of the caller.

- Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on a website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as Internet bank account usernames and passwords, one-time password (OTP) codes from tokens, are useful to criminals. Do not make any fund transfer at the behest of such callers.

- Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. Do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively.