Thursday, April 22, 2021

Singapore: Pharmaceutical firm defrauded in $7.2 million coronavirus related scam

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A man has been arrested for suspected involvement in money-laundering offences linked to a coronavirus related scam, the police said on Saturday (April 4).

In mid-March, the police were alerted to a business e-mail impersonation case in which an overseas pharmaceutical company was defrauded of €6.636 million (S$10.3 million) over the purchase of surgical masks and hand sanitisers.

After the company transferred the monies to a local bank, the items were not delivered and the supplier became uncontactable.

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Through investigations, the Commercial Affairs Department has established the identity of the man, 39, who had received the monies and arrested him on March 25 when he returned to Singapore.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the man had acquired the monies, which were criminal proceeds, and moved part of them out of Singapore.

Investigations against the man are currently ongoing for multiple offences.

The police’s Anti-Scam Centre managed to recover more than $6.4 million of the amount scammed. Efforts are underway to trace and recover the remaining monies.

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