SINGAPORE: A woman was charged in court on Tuesday (Mar 1) after Internet love scam victims transferred a total of S$290,000 to her bank account.
Noorul Ayn Abdul Shukoor was accused of possessing money reasonably suspected to be benefits from criminal conduct, and had failed to account for how she came by the money, according to charge sheets.
In December 2020, the police received a report from a 48-year-old woman who was a victim of an Internet love scam.
Investigations revealed that the victim “befriended a male character online” who claimed to have sent her a parcel, the police said in a news release.
She later received phone calls telling her that the parcel was held back by Customs officers and that she needed to pay fees for it to be released.
The victim transferred S$16,000 to a corporate bank account that belonged to Noorul Ayn.
When the victim was asked to make more payments a few days later, she realised she had been cheated and lodged a police report.
Investigations also showed that another 58-year-old Internet love scam victim had also transferred S$274,000 to the same bank account, after falling prey “to the same ruse”, said the police.
Noorul Ayn, who was the director of Shaahi Restaurant, was also charged with failing to maintain accounting records as required by the Companies Act.
Anyone convicted of possessing or using property that may be reasonably suspected of being criminal benefits may be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$150,000 or both.
Those found guilty of failing to maintain accounting records under the Companies Act can be jailed for up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000.
The police urged people who receive or are asked to receive funds from “unknown or dubious sources” to contact the Anti-Scam helpline (1800-722-6688).
“The police take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” said the police.
“To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use your bank account or mobile lines as you will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes.”