Man gets 18 months' jail for his role in DHL parcel scam

Soong Kean Soon has been sentenced to 18 months' jail for his involvement in a DHL parcel scam.
Soong Kean Soon has been sentenced to 18 months' jail for his involvement in a DHL parcel scam.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A Malaysian man allowed his bank account to be used to receive money and have sums withdrawn before they were deposited in other people's bank accounts.

For his role in a "DHL" scam, cook Soong Kean Soon obtained a commission of $606. On Thursday (May 11), he was sentenced to 18 months' jail which was backdated to Aug 3 last year.

The 35-year-old had admitted to three charges under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.  

Six other similar charges under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act were taken into consideration in sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu said that sometime around mid-July last year, Soong agreed to help his friend, Ah Jin. The friend told Soong that he could earn $500 for helping to transfer or withdraw money from his bank account.

Ah Jin claimed the money were "proceeds of gambling".

On July 26, a 36-year-old Malaysian woman living here received a call from an automated system that asked her to press 9 to speak to an operator. A woman representing herself as a DHL staff told her that she had sent a parcel to China and quoted a DHL reference number.

When the victim said she did not send any parcel, the woman told her there were some illegal items in the parcel which the China authorities had to investigate.

The call was then transferred to someone in China who introduced himself as a police officer. The bogus cop told the victim that her account would be frozen for three years, and offered to help cut it down to one week.

The victim was directed to a China Police website where she entered her personal and Internet banking details. She also gave the bogus cop her personal identification number. She was told to wait three days for the investigation to be completed.

When the victim called DHL that afternoon, she realised she had been swindled. She checked her bank account and discovered two unauthorised electronic transfers of $7,900 and $12,300 had been made from her POSB account without her knowledge.

Investigation showed that both sums were deposited into Soong's United Overseas Bank account.

Ah Jin messaged Soong that day to say that $20,200 had been transferred to his UOB account and instructed him to withdraw it immediately.

After Soong had done so, he messaged Ah Jin who told him to make another withdrawal of $10,000 which had just been transferred into his account. This sum had been illegally withdrawn from the second victim, a 65-year-old woman.

The same day, Soong was instructed to deposit $9,500 into an UOB account and $10,000 to another account with the bank.

Later that evening, he received another message from Ah Jin to deposit $9,794 into a POSB account the next day.

Soong sought the help of a childhood friend to deposit the cash. The friend also helped him make another deposit of $300 using the cash deposit machine.