Taiwan, Singapore police crack major fraud ring

2017/12/04 18:04:10 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Wu Dong-wen (吳東文)

Wu Dong-wen (吳東文)

Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Police in Taiwan and Singapore have jointly cracked a Taichung-based telecom fraud ring that had swindled about NT$440 million (US$15 million) from 119 ethnic Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Sunday.

The fraud ring, led by a 30-year-old Taiwanese man surnamed Chen, targeted mainly Singaporeans, the bureau said at a press conference.

A total of six members were arrested for their suspected involvement in the scheme, in which they made phone calls from a telecom center in Taichung posing as Singaporean police and prosecutors to defraud victims, said CIB officer Wu Dong-wen (吳東文).

During a raid of the call center, police also seized seven mobile phones, tablets and wireless routers.

Based on a check of phone calls from the center, police found the ring had swindled about NT$440 million (S$20 million) from 119 victims, according to Wu.

The breakthrough in the case came after Singapore police arrested 10 Taiwanese people for suspected involvement in a case of money mule scams and asked the CIB to help track down suspected accomplices related to the case.

After the CIB provided personal data of the victims in the telecom fraud case to Singapore police, it was found that seven of the money mules allegedly transferred money obtained fraudulently from the victims to the crime ring.

The 10 Taiwanese will have to stand trial in Singapore before they can be repatriated to Taiwan, according to Wu.

A money mule is a person who transfers ill-gotten money illegally on behalf of others. Fraudsters are known to use money mule scams to get vulnerable individuals to transfer acquired funds on their behalf.

(By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao)

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