Syndicate that used stolen credit cards to make fraudulent online purchases here worth $100k busted

SINGAPORE - A transnational syndicate, believed to responsible for using stolen credit cards to make fraudulent online purchases amounting to about $100,000 here, has been busted by authorities in Singapore and Indonesia.

The Singapore Police Force said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 12) that the syndicate is believed to be operating from Indonesia. Investigations were carried out by the police's Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Indonesian National Police's Polda Metro Jaya (PMJ).

Four men aged 19 to 29 were arrested in Indonesia by PMJ officers between Nov 29 and Dec 5 for their suspected involvement in several cases of online credit card fraud in the country.

The suspects are believed to be responsible for at least 40 cases reported here in May of fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets using stolen credit cards. The purchases, which were made from a Singapore website, amounted to about $100,000.

A 35-year-old woman is also assisting with investigations in Singapore. She is believed to have aided one of the suspects in the fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets, the Singapore Police Force said.

Several telecommunication devices, laptops and an assortment of documents were seized in the joint investigation.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the suspects have been involved in similar fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets since 2017.

Those convicted of abetment by conspiracy to cheat can be punished with a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

CAD director David Chew said: "The transnational fraudsters involved have targeted online merchants in both Singapore and Indonesia and carried out illicit activities on the Internet with stolen credit card details.

"The Singapore Police Force will continue to collaborate closely with our counterparts to eradicate these transnational syndicates who attempt to use territorial boundaries and the anonymity of the Internet to commit crimes."

Debit and credit card holders are advised to safeguard their card details and not to disclose sensitive banking information to others, the police said.

They also urged the public to be prudent when making online payments using their card details and to visit reliable websites for online shopping.