Woman charged for aiding love scammers in China.

A 64-year-old woman was charged in court on Thursday (Apr 28) with cheating two banks into opening accounts that were used in Internet love scams.

Yvonne Cecilia de Silva is accused of conspiring with an “Edmond Chin” and a “Chris” to cheat the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) respectively, according to charge sheets.

She was also charged with giving these people the online banking login credentials and an ATM card.

The bank accounts were used by criminals to launder proceeds of crime derived from three reported cases of Internet love scams, said the police.

The victims met the scammers on Facebook and Instagram, and over time transferred a total of S$121,000 at the request of the scammers.

Some money was transferred purportedly to help ease cashflow problems. Money was also transferred on the pretext of paying for fees needed to release parcels sent by their online lovers, said the police.

Investigations revealed that the 64-year-old woman befriended the unknown people on Facebook in 2019. They asked for help to receive funds in Singapore for their businesses.

The woman allegedly cheated two banks into opening two bank accounts in her name, by deceiving them into believing that she was going to use these accounts.

She allegedly mailed a bank ATM card to an address in Malaysia and provided the online banking login credentials to the person.

She is also accused of accepting S$6,000 into her MayBank account for the purpose of transferring the proceeds to another party.

Anyone found guilty of conspiring to cheat a bank into opening a bank account can be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.

For abetting others to secure unauthorised access to a bank’s computer system, a first-time offender can be fined up to S$5,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

Those convicted of carrying on the business of providing a payment service in Singapore without licence can be fined up to S$125,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

The police take a serious stance against anyone involved in facilitating money laundering, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law, the police said.

To avoid becoming involved in money laundering activities, members of the public should always reject requests to share the use of their banking facilities to receive and transfer funds, as well as guard against disclosing their Singpass login details which can be misused for many transactions.

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