Singapore

Cops investigating 21 people for prepaid SIM card registration fraud

The police are investigating 21 people for their involvement in fraudulently registering prepaid SIM cards for users wanting to remain anonymous.

The police conducted a four-hour islandwide operation yesterday targeting 16 handphone shops across Singapore.

The shops - located in Ang Mo Kio, Changi, City Hall, Little India, Orchard, Ubi and Woodlands - were raided simultaneously.

Seven men and a woman, aged between 19 and 55, were arrested for their suspected involvement in using particulars of unsuspecting customers or foreigners who have not entered Singapore.

Police said another nine men and four women aged between 24 and 60 are assisting with investigations.

"Investigations revealed that these handphone retailers had abused the computer systems holding registration information for prepaid SIM cards.

"They would then pre-register SIM cards using particulars of others and sell them to customers who wish to remain anonymous," said the police statement yesterday.

Criminals exploit fraudulently registered prepaid SIM cards as an anonymous channel of communication for unlicensed moneylending, scams and vice, among other activities.

Scam syndicates, for example, have been found to use them to contact victims and among themselves to evade detection.

Items such as terminal devices, desktops, laptops, printers, handphones, invoices and photocopied passports, SIM cards and relevant documents were seized during the operation.

Those convicted of unauthorised modifications of computer material under the Computer Misuse Act may be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to three months or both. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME