Three of four Taiwanese men who have been charged with receiving stolen money this month were taken to locations in Geylang and Parklane shopping centre by police yesterday.
They are believed to have played roles in police-impersonation scams in which victims lost over $800,000 in total.
Huang Ying-chun, 52, Chen Peng-yu, 34, and Hsieh Teng-chia, 30, were seen arriving in separate unmarked police cars at a coffee shop in Lorong 12, Geylang yesterday morning. All three were in hand and leg restraints, and were escorted individually to the toilet area of the coffee shop.
They were later taken to the men's toilet on the first floor of Parklane shopping centre in Selegie Road. It is believed the suspects used the cubicles there in some of the alleged transactions.
They were also led to carparks and telephone booths.
According to an Apple Daily report last week, a spokesman for the Taiwanese Foreign Affairs Ministry said its authorities are assisting Singapore police with investigations. The accused are assisted by lawyers as well, she added.
Huang had been charged with receiving $150,000 at about 6pm on July 5 in Lorong 40, Geylang. The prosecution said he is "believed to be involved in a series of scam cases".
Chen stands accused of receiving, with Huang, a total of $75,000 on July 7 from a person named Koh Eng Tiong. Done "in furtherance of the common intention" of the group, the transaction was said to have taken place at around 10am at a block of flats in Hougang Avenue 4, according to court documents.
Both Huang and Chen were charged on July 8, while Hsieh was charged two days later, also with receiving $75,000 from Koh at the same block in Hougang, between 10am and 11am on July 7.
The fourth man, Chen You-jeng, 33, was charged on July 8 with receiving $75,000 from Koh between July 5 and 7. The location was not stated in court documents.
The case came to light when Huang was arrested a day after a 55-year-old woman reported losing about $225,000 after taking a call from an unknown person claiming to be a police officer.
She was allegedly told she was being investigated by the authorities for money laundering. Her call was then transferred to another unknown person, who said he was a police officer from a foreign country. The woman was given a link to an e-service website supposedly from the Singapore Police Force, and instructed to key in her Internet banking details.
She later realised her account had been accessed without her knowledge and about $225,000 had been transferred to unknown accounts.
According to a police statement earlier this month, preliminary investigations showed that Huang is believed to be involved in at least 10 other similar cases.
If convicted of the offence of dishonestly receiving stolen property, the men could be jailed for up to five years and fined.
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Police take suspects to scenes of crime. str.sg/4DwU