Man arrested for allegedly attempting to extort $500,000 from Standard Chartered Bank

SINGAPORE - A 35-year-old man was arrested on Sunday (Sept 30) for allegedly attempting to extort $500,000 from Standard Chartered Bank.

The police said that they received a report last Thursday (Sept 27) from the bank saying that it had been threatened with leakage of confidential information.

The threats, which were mentioned in anonymous e-mails to the bank, also demanded $500,000 in exchange for non-leakage of the confidential information belonging to the bank.

Officers from Bedok Police Division were able to establish the identity of the suspect, and arrested him along Kovan Road on Sunday.

Several laptops and mobile phones were seized from the man in connection with the case, the police said.

He is believed to have used multiple fictitious e-mail accounts to deliver the threats to the bank.

Preliminary investigations also revealed that he may have used overseas registered mobile lines and "Virtual Private Network" services to mask his identity, in order to evade detection.

If found guilty of attempted extortion under Section 385 of the Penal Code, the man can be jailed for between two and five years, and caned.

In a statement, Standard Chartered Bank said: “We have actively engaged and assisted the relevant authorities on this matter involving an attempted extortion. This is not related to our customer data or systems which remain secure.

"This was an isolated incident and was not a result of an external cyber security-related threat. We would like to thank the Singapore Police Force for their swift actions in solving this case.”

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.