Fourth suspect charged for involvement in DHL parcel scam

Moi Chee Hou was charged on Wednesday (July 20) for his alleged involvement in a DHL parcel scam.
Moi Chee Hou was charged on Wednesday (July 20) for his alleged involvement in a DHL parcel scam.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 23-year-old man was charged on Wednesday (July 20) for his alleged involvement in a DHL parcel scam.

Moi Chee Hou, a Malaysian, is accused of receiving $30,100 in his bank account, knowing it had been stolen by a person named "Alvin".

He is the fourth person charged so far in relation to a string of DHL parcel scams.

The police said they received a report on July 4 from a 32-year-old woman who said that she had received a call from an unknown person who claimed to be working for DHL.

She was told that her parcel contained illegal goods and had been detained by the Chinese Customs.

The call was then transferred to another person whose number was reflected in the woman's caller ID as "999", and the person identified himself to be from the police.

The woman was asked to provide her Internet banking credentials, and she later discovered that about $36,000 had been transferred to an unknown bank account.

Police believe the suspect, Moi, to be involved in at least five other similar cases in which the victims had suffered losses amounting to a total of about $90,000.

His case will be mentioned again next month. Bail was not granted.

The maximum punishment for dishonestly receiving stolen property is five years' jail and a fine.

Last week, the police arrested three men, aged between 21 and 22, for their suspected involvement in the same parcel scam, in which a trio allegedly tricked an elderly woman into transferring $50,000 to them.

In that case, the woman was told her parcel containing illegal goods was detained by the Chinese Customs.

The caller then threatened her with legal action and instructed her to transfer money to an unknown local bank account so that the authorities would not pursue the matter.

Out of fear, she transferred a sum of $50,000 to the bank account.

The police managed to establish the identity of the 21-year-old suspect who had withdrawn the money from a bank.

Officers arrested him at Ang Mo Kio Hub the same day. The two other suspects were also arrested at Tuas on the same day.

The police has urged the public to take precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties.

It said in June that more than $4 million had been lost by victims of phone scams since March, and more than 50 reports had been received over the same period. In most cases, the callers use the same modus operandi, it said.

A spokesman for DHL said in June that it had received more than 200 reports daily regarding the scam, after being alerted to it in early April. It has filed a police report.