Police smash cross-border credit-for-sex scam syndicate

PHOTO: The New Paper

SINGAPORE - Authorities in Singapore and China have busted a China-based credit-for-sex syndicate that had allegedly scammed about $1.6 million from Singaporean victims.

In a statement on Friday (Jan 22), the Singapore police said that it had received 627 reports of credit-for-sex scams, which tricked victims into paying money for non-existent sexual services, in the first half of 2015.

"Investigations revealed that the culprits behind the scams operated from call centres based in China and used social media platforms to deceive victims," the police explained.

After joint investigations by the Singapore police and Chinese police, officers from China's Criminal Investigation Department raided various locations around the country and arrested 43 members of a syndicate that was allegedly responsible for the scams.

Several computers, telecommunication devices and modems were also seized during the raid.

Mr David Chew, director of the police's Commercial Affairs Department, expressed appreciation for the support of the Chinese police.

"The close co-operation between the Singapore Police Force and the Chinese police was instrumental in crippling this transnational criminal syndicate," he said.

He also stressed that both authorities would spare no efforts in clamping down on criminals who hid behind the anonymity of the Internet and preyed on victims across borders.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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