Jail for second money mule in S’pore who had relationship with Nigerian member of love scam group | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean woman fell in love with a member of a Nigerian criminal group carrying out love scams from Malaysia and later became a money mule, transporting the ill-gotten gains out of Singapore.

Faridah Rashid, 51, pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of dealing with the benefits of criminal conduct and was sentenced to 18 weeks’ jail.

Between Feb 7 and 22, 2019, her bank account was used to receive S$65,000 (RM218,305) from multiple scam victims in Singapore.

She withdrew the monies and went to Malaysia to hand them to her lover Awolola Oladayo Opeyemi.

Faridah was the second Singaporean woman linked to him to be sentenced for acting as a money mule.

In February, Suhaili Suparjo, 33, was sentenced to 15 months’ jail on two counts of helping another person retain the benefits of criminal conduct involving more than S$356,000 (RM1.19mil).

Suhaili had fallen in love with the same man and even had a child with him.

In December 2021, Awolola, then 37, was sentenced in a Singapore district court to five years’ jail after he pleaded guilty to three counts of working with others to receive the benefits of criminal conduct linked to more than S$550,000 (RM1.84mil) in losses.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jordon Li said that the love scam involved the scammer getting to know the victims through false personas via the Internet.

The scammer would cultivate a romantic relationship with them and gain their trust, before asking for money from the victims who would give in to the demands.

Awolola, working with one scammer known only as Fola, would recruit money mules to help receive monies from the victims.

Faridah was one such money mule, said the prosecutor.

She first got to know a man identified only as “Jerry” but Awolola later got in touch with her, claiming that “Jerry” had given him her number.

Awolola and Faridah started chatting with each other on WhatsApp. She travelled to Malaysia to meet him some time before Feb 7, 2019, and they slept in the same room. She returned to Singapore three days later.

Soon after, Awolola asked Faridah for her bank account details, which she acceded to.

She was later told to withdraw the money she received in her bank account and hand it to him in Malaysia.

He also told her that she could use some of the cash to pay for her expenses.

Awolola gave her between a few hundred dollars and S$1,000 (RM3,360) for going to Malaysia to pass him the monies.

On April 16, 2019, the Malaysian police arrested Awolola in Kuala Lumpur. He was taken to Singapore and charged in court the following month.

For committing the offence, Faridah could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to S$500,000 (RM1.68mil). – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network

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