Singapore, Malaysia police smash cross-border Internet love scam syndicate

Victims lost a total of about $245,000 in at least seven cases reported in Singapore and 25 cases reported in Malaysia, the police said in a statement on Monday (Sept 11).
Victims lost a total of about $245,000 in at least seven cases reported in Singapore and 25 cases reported in Malaysia, the police said in a statement on Monday (Sept 11). PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - An Internet love scam syndicate targeting those in Singapore and Malaysia has been taken down by Singapore and Malaysia police.

Victims lost a total of about $245,000 in at least seven cases reported in Singapore and 25 cases reported in Malaysia, the police said in a statement on Monday (Sept 11).

The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force and the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) of the Royal Malaysia Police had shared information on Internet love scams reported in both countries from February this year.

Scammers would cultivate relationships with victims online, before asking the victims to give them money to pay fines and fees.

They claimed that they needed the money as they were detained by government authorities, and posed as successful or attractive individuals.

CCID officers arrested 11 suspects, including 10 Africans, in Kuala Lumpur in an operation conducted last Wednesday and Thursday.

At the same time, CAD officers arrested three Singaporean men in Singapore for helping to transfer the syndicate's earnings.

CAD director David Chew said the operation was "yet another testament to the strong bonds between CAD and CCID".

"Both departments share a common resolve to ensure that transnational fraudsters do not get away with hiding behind the Internet to commit crimes," he said.

He added that the CAD was grateful to its Malaysian counterparts for their strong support in this joint investigation