Singapore

Reformative training for man linked to phishing scams involving OCBC customers


SINGAPORE – A 20-year-old man was ordered on Tuesday to undergo reformative training for at least a year over offences including money laundering-related activities linked to phishing scams involving OCBC Bank customers.

He will be detained in a centre to follow a strict regimen that can include foot drills and counselling.

He was one of seven youths charged in February 2022 over their alleged involvement in the scams that led to victims losing some $12.8 million.

The offender pleaded guilty in December 2022 to seven charges, including one count each of driving a car without a licence and allowing others to control bank accounts despite having reasonable grounds to believe that these would be used to handle benefits of criminal conduct.

He also admitted to two counts of robbery.

He cannot be named as he was below 18 when he committed some of his offences. Such individuals are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act.

Others linked to the scams, including Mark Teo Sin Yan, 32, and Leong Jun Xian, then 21, were dealt with in court earlier.

The cases involving several others, including Kong Jia Quan and Muhammad Khairuddin Eskandariah, both 20, are pending.

The offender, who was ordered to undergo reformative training on Tuesday, was just 17 in June 2020 when he started his crime spree.

He used another person’s debit card to buy items including two packets of cigarettes worth $28.40.

He later became a member of a group linked to the phishing scams.

In earlier court proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Siu Ming said: “The accused and co-accused persons had worked together as a group to provide money-laundering services to various unknown persons believed to be linked to overseas syndicates, by sourcing and providing control of bank accounts to these unknown persons.

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“Some of these bank accounts were subsequently used to receive and dissipate funds from victims of the… phishing scams, while other bank accounts were used to receive and dissipate funds from victims of other scams.”

The syndicates also told the group to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs).



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