The black handcuffs on wooden background. criminal justice (Photo by Spaxiax from Shutterstock.com).

Third suspect of impersonation scam in 2017 arrested

A third suspect of impersonation scam in 2017 that saw a woman lost around $5.4 million has been arrested.

The Police said that the 29-year-old Malaysian man, who was not identified, was arrested in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (2 January) in Kuala Lumpur, with the help of the Royal Malaysia Police.

The man has been brought back to Singapore and is expected to be charged on Friday for dishonestly receiving stolen property.

In November 2017, the 58-year-old victim in the scam was made to believe that she had to surrender all her money to the “authorities” to assist in criminal investigations.

The fraudsters allegedly impersonated officials from China.

The woman then handed her money to different strangers at various locations in Singapore over a week, and the suspects left the country after committing the crime.

The two suspects were arrested two months before the latest arrest. The two Malaysians, Looi Yu Chong and Cha Kok Haw, were caught in January and May 2018 respectively.

They both were charged over money laundering offences. If convicted, the latest suspect faces an imprisonment term of up to five years and a fine.

Director of Commercial Affairs Department David Chew said that the authorities will “exhaust all means” to nab criminals who fled Singapore after committing crimes here.

“I would like to thank the Royal Malaysia Police for their strong support and assistance in arresting the accused in this case,” he added.

The police also advised members of the public to take precautions when receiving unsolicited calls asking them to to surrender money in order to avoid criminal investigations, which include ignoring the calls and instructions, as “no government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms”.

The authority added that agencies will also not demand that people surrender cash to unnamed persons, or ask for personal banking information.

It also said that foreign residents should call their embassy or high commission to verify callers’ claims as well, and urged the public not to make any transfers of funds or act impulsively.