Taiwanese who allegedly impersonated police in Singapore get taken to the scene of the crime

The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE — Three of four Taiwanese men who were charged in Singapore with impersonating policemen and receiving stolen money this month were taken to locations in Geylang and Parklane Shopping Centre by the police on Wednesday.

The scams resulted in a loss of over SG$800,000 (US$585,000) for the victims.

Huang Ying-Chun, 52, Chen Peng-Yu, 34, and Hsieh Teng-Chia, 30, were seen arriving in separate, unmarked police cars at a coffee shop in Lorong 12, Geylang on Wednesday morning.

All three were in hand and leg restraints, and brought individually to the toilet area of the coffee shop by officers.

They were later taken to the men’s toilet on the first floor of Parklane Shopping Centre. It is believed the suspects used the cubicles in some of the alleged transactions.

Other places they were taken to on Wednesday included car parks and telephone booths.

The Straits Times understands that the case involves cooperation between the police forces of Taiwan and Singapore.

Huang had been charged with receiving SG$150,000 at about 6 p.m. on July 5 in Lorong 40, Geylang. The prosecution said that he is “believed to be involved in a series of scam cases.”

Chen stands accused of receiving SG$75,000 from a person named Koh Eng Tiong, together with Huang, on July 7.

Done “in furtherance of the common intention” of the group, the transaction was said to have taken place at around 10 a.m., at a block in Hougang Avenue 4, according to court documents. Both Huang and Chen were charged on July 8.

On July 10, Hsieh was charged with receiving SG$75,000 from Koh as well. The alleged crime took place at the same block in Hougang, between 10am and 11am.

The fourth man, Chen You-Jeng, 33, is charged with receiving SG$75,000 as well from Koh, between July 5 and 7. The location was not stated in court documents.

The case came to light when Huang was arrested a day after a 55-year-old woman reported losing about SG$225,000 after taking a call from an unknown person claiming to be a police officer.

She was allegedly told she was being investigated by the authorities for money laundering offences. Her call was then transferred to another unknown person, who said he was a police officer from a foreign country.

The woman was given a link to an e-service website supposedly from the Singapore Police Force, and allegedly instructed to key in her Internet banking details.

She later realized her bank account had been accessed illegally without her knowledge and about SG$225,000 had been transferred to unknown bank accounts.

According to a police statement earlier this month, preliminary investigations showed that Huang is believed to be involved in at least 10 other similar cases.

If convicted of the offence of dishonestly receiving stolen property, the men could be jailed for up to five years and fined.