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Man and woman arrested for suspected involvement in SIM card fraud​


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SINGAPORE - A 23-year-old man working at a mobile phone shop has been arrested for his suspected involvement in fraudulently registering postpaid SIM cards using his unsuspecting customers’ details.

A 26-year-old woman was also arrested for allegedly abetting his offences by registering a shell company to procure unregistered postpaid SIM cards from a supplier.

In a three-week islandwide operation that ended on Wednesday, the police also seized over $210,000, terminated more than 1,000 mobile phone lines and froze around 50 bank accounts.

Twenty-five men and three women, aged between 22 and 43, whose identities are believed to have been stolen, are also assisting in investigations, the police said on Saturday.

Preliminary investigations showed that the 23-year-old man who worked as a mobile phone shop assistant had allegedly accessed and stolen the identification data from his company’s mobile device used in the registration of postpaid SIM cards.

He then pre-registered postpaid SIM cards using the particulars of others and sold them to customers who wanted to purchase SIM cards without using their own identities.

Mobile phones and postpaid SIM cards were also seized during the operation, the police added.

Fraudulently registered postpaid SIM cards can be used by criminals for illicit activities, such as unlicensed moneylending, scams and vice. They can also be used to communicate with victims and among criminals to avoid getting caught.

Police investigations are ongoing.

Illegally obtaining personal information is an offence that carries a jail term of up to three years and a fine. The offence of unauthorised modification of computer material carries a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term up to three years, or both.

Failing to use reasonable diligence in the discharge of duties as a director is also an offence, carrying a jail term of up to 12 months or a fine of up to $5,000.

The police said it will continue to clamp down on errant mobile phone shop retailers and assistants who may be indirectly facilitating illegal activities.

Those involved in such illegal activities will be dealt with in accordance with the law, the police added.

The police urged people to be wary of purchasing pre-registered prepaid and pre-registered postpaid SIM cards and to always maintain a clear view of their identification documents to prevent them from being misused by mobile phone shop retailers or assistants.

Members of the public should also be cautious before agreeing to be appointed as directors for companies and ensure that they are diligent in their duties, if appointed.

A company may be involved in criminal activities, if a director does not exercise proper supervision, the police added.

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