An Internet love scam syndicate targeting victims in Singapore and Malaysia has been taken down by the police in both countries.
Victims lost a total of about $245,000 in at least seven cases reported in Singapore and 25 in Malaysia, the Singapore police said in a statement yesterday.
Since February, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force and the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) of the Royal Malaysia Police have shared information on Internet love scams reported in both countries.
Scammers would cultivate relationships with victims online, before asking for money to pay various bogus fines and fees.
They claimed they were being detained by the government authorities, or 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 here 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 the joint investigation.