SINGAPORE - Two siblings have been jailed for conspiring with a man to dishonestly receive more than $400,000 derived from scam proceeds.
Rausyan Sajjad Mohamad Rafie, 24, and his sister Shaqilah, 25, were each jailed for 16 months on Thursday (Jan 11) after admitting to two charges each of abetment by conspiracy with Nicholas Ryan Khoo, 23, to receive a total of $441,545 in Khoo Repairs' DBS Bank current account in March 2016.
The money was swindled from a Barbados-based company and included two payments of $234,000 and $206,000.
Two other charges were considered during sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang said Shaqilah had been living in Kuala Lumpur with her Nigerian boyfriend David Adewale Oladokun, who was part of a syndicate based in the Malaysian capital.
Oladokun told her that the syndicate conducted extortion, love scams and money-wiring scams. He said the syndicate needed a bank account to receive the money they made and tried to persuade her to set up a Singapore company bank account.
When she returned here in 2015, she told Rausyan about her Nigerian boyfriend and the syndicate. She asked if he had any friends with company bank accounts interested in earning commission by helping the syndicate.
Rausyan approached his former platoon mate Khoo, owner of Khoo Repairs, as he knew Khoo had tried to apply for a government grant for his business, and realised that Khoo wanted to earn money quickly.
Khoo, whose case is pending, would be able to earn a 5 per cent commission for providing his company bank account to receive criminal proceeds from scams. The siblings would each receive 2.5 per cent.
He provided his firm's account details to Rausyan, who passed them to his sister.
After the money went into the account, Khoo would withdraw it and pass it to Rausyan who would then give it to Shaqilah for onward transmission to the syndicate in Malaysia.
In March 2016, the Commercial Affairs Department began investigating after the Barbados company, Faith Universal Investments, alleged that it had been defrauded by spoof e-mails into wiring two amounts to Khoo Repairs' account. Eleven unauthorised transfers from Faith's account were made to various accounts around the world.
Rausyan's lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy said in mitigation that his client's family was facing financial difficulties. He said his client had agreed to help his sister as he believed she had been threatened and physically abused by her Nigerian boyfriend.
He said Rausyan has shown extreme remorse and deeply regrets his mistakes.
Pleading for leniency, Shaqilah's lawyer R. Kalamohan said the former public relations officer never expected an error in her judgment to cost her and her family so much pain and suffering. She deeply regrets her actions, he added.