SINGAPORE — Six men were charged on Monday (9 May) with offences involving cheating banks, handing over their bank account details to others, and for disclosing their Singpass details in exchange for money.
The six, all in their 20s, are Singaporeans: Lester Law Jin Yuan, 22; Sean Lee Jun Jie, 23; Muhammad Ridwan Atan, 23; Muhamad Hairul Nizam Mohd Halim; Daniel Phua Zhi Hao, 24; and Louis Chin, 26.
Their alleged crimes spanned from December 2020 to October last year.
Among the six, three of them – Chin, Lee and Phua – were charged with cheating or abetting to cheat UOB, OCBC, and Standard Chartered banks into opening bank accounts. The banks opened the accounts believing that each man would be the sole operators. However, each man then allegedly facilitated unauthorised access to the bank accounts by providing the ATM cards, access codes, personal identification numbers or other details to others.
Ridwan is said to have opened a UOB account under a woman’s name without authority, then relinquished the account and its details to another person to effect illicit transactions.
Law allegedly engaged in a conspiracy with others, including Phua, to access an OCBC bank account without authority by receiving the account’s details from Phua.
Court documents did not mention what the bank accounts were used for.
Ridwan, Chin and Hairul are also accused of disclosing their Singpass user ID and passwords to others in return for a commission of $500, $200 and $300 respectively.
Law and Phua also face an additional charge each of obstructing the course of justice by deleting online chat logs to conceal from the police details relating to their unauthorised access to OCBC bank accounts.
All the cases will be heard again at a later date, with Ridwan and Phua expected to plead guilty.
The Singapore Police Force said in a March press release that there were individuals who sold their Singpass details to scammers who would then register businesses, and open bank or crypto-exchange accounts, in order to receive funds from victims. Scammers also used Singpass details to subscribe to mobile lines to contact victims.
If convicted of cheating the banks, each man may be jailed up to three years, and/or fined.
Under Singapore’s Computer Misuse Act, those convicted of disclosing their Singpass details to allow others access for wrongful gain may be jailed up to three years and/or fined up to $10,000.
Under the same act, those who facilitated unauthorised access to the bank accounts may be jailed up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.
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