Two Malaysians accused of receiving money linked to impersonation scams

Poon Hong Kuan (right) and Chow Zhi Hong are accused of dishonestly receiving stolen property - $100,000 in cash - from a man.
Poon Hong Kuan (right) and Chow Zhi Hong are accused of dishonestly receiving stolen property - $100,000 in cash - from a man.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Two Malaysians were taken to a Singapore district court on Wednesday (June 6) over their alleged involvement in a series of scams in which con artists pretended to be officials from China.

Poon Hong Kuan, 17, and Chow Zhi Hong, 33, are accused of dishonestly receiving stolen property - $100,000 in cash - from a man known as Chow Wai Chung.

The pair are said to have committed the offence last Friday and officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) arrested them three days later on Monday.

The police said in a statement on Tuesday that the two Malaysians allegedly received criminal proceeds linked to such scams.

Officers managed to seize $590,000 in cash. The Straits Times had earlier reported that this amount was the largest seized for any scam cases so far this year.

The police also said that the pair are believed to be involved in other similar cases.

There were 80 victims of such offences between January and April this year, more than double the 30 victims of such scams in the same period last year.


Officers seized $590,000 in cash. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

CAD director David Chew said: "These scams involve well-organised overseas syndicates that use automated phone calls and call-spoofing technology as well as social media messaging platforms... to target their victims.

"If a caller claims to be a foreign government official demanding money from you, you are advised to ignore their demands as this is in all likelihood a scam."

The police have also advised members of the public to ignore unsolicited calls to surrender money.

 

They added: "No government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms... or ask you for personal banking information such as your Internet banking passwords."

No bail was offered to the two men, who are now remanded at Central Police Division.

They will be back in court on June 13.

Offenders convicted of receiving stolen property can be jailed for up to five years and fined.