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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 14 June 2006

Police arrest four African suspects in advance fee fraud scam


Four Foreigners Arrested After Cheating Local Businessman
Four male Africans aged between 28 and 31-years-old were arrested yesterday after they had allegedly cheated a local businessman.
On 20 May 06, one of the suspects befriended the victim, a 55-year-old local Indian and director of a property and second-hand car company.
The suspect claimed that he had contacts who were interested in exporting second-hand cars from Singapore to Tanzania.
An arrangement was subsequently made for the victim to meet two other suspects who claimed to be potential buyers of the second-hand cars.
After negotiations, the victim was told that the buyers' funds were in blackened United States currency 'notes' held at the South African Embassy in Singapore. The victim was told to pay the suspect a sum of USD2,100 purportedly as 'late charges' to secure the release of the funds.
The victim then became suspicious and alerted the police. Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department then conducted an operation and arrested the four suspects yesterday afternoon at Rowell Road . The police also recovered some paraphernalia used by the suspects, which included a briefcase filled with blackened 'notes'.
The four suspects will be charged in Court tomorrow for Abetment by Conspiracy to Cheat under Sec 109 r/w (read with) Sec 420 of the Penal Code. Anyone found guilty of cheating can be punished with imprisonment of up to 7 years and also be fined.
Such advance fee fraud scams have been widely publicized in the media previously but the conmen continue in their attempts to perpetuate them, in the hope that an unsuspecting victim would take the bait.
The police would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to be wary of such scams. The conmen may approach you or send e-mails or letters claiming that they have a large sum of money and request for your assistance in return for some form of benefit to you. The victims are often duped into making up-front payments as fees or charges for the release of the money.
Those who receive such proposals should not be taken in by them. Police take a very stern view of such cases and will not hesitate to prosecute anyone if there is evidence of fraud.
The public can forward such scam e-mail or letters to the Commercial Affairs Department at 391 New Bridge Road, #06-701 Police Cantonment Complex Block D, Singapore 088762 or at any police station.
14 June 2006 @ 8.00 pm

Source: Media Release 14 Jun 2006

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