Singapore cyber crime
Representational picture -- Students attend cyber defense class in the school in Poltsamaa, Estonia, December 4, 2015 Reuters

A China-based credit-for-sex syndicate that swindled $1.6 million out of Singaporeans has been busted, police said.

Singapore police said in a statement it had received as many as 627 reports of credit-for-sex scams. A joint investigation by Singaporean and Chinese authorities was held and raids were conducted in China leading to several arrests.

The scamsters had tricked victims into paying money for non-existent sexual services, in the first half of 2015, Asiaone said in a report.

"Investigations revealed that the culprits behind the scams operated from call centres based in China and used social media platforms to deceive victims," police old the website.

Following extensive raids in China, authorities arrested 43 individuals and seized computers, telecommunication devices and modems.

"The close co-operation between the Singapore Police Force and the Chinese police was instrumental in crippling this transnational criminal syndicate," said Mr David Chew, director of the police's Commercial Affairs Department.