Singaporeans
Superintendent Ho Yenn Dar (L), assistant director of media relations of Singapore Police Force listens to questions from journalists on the international match-fixing scam at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Singapore February 6, 2013. Reuters (Representational Image)

As many as 27 suspects were arrested in several Malaysian states from February 6 to February 8 in a joint police operation by Royal Malaysia Police and Singapore Police Force (SPF) against online love scam syndicates across the Singapore-Malaysia border. The Commercial Crime Investigation Department of both the forces were in charge of the operation.

According to reports, out of those 27 suspects, 13 Nigerian nationals were believed to be involved in 108 cases of internet love scams. In those scams, a number of victims from Singapore and Malaysia have lost approximately RM21.6 million (S$6.9 million). The police have seized telecommunication devices, computers, and ATM cards from the suspects.

The SPF said in a press release on Monday that Singapore Police Force's Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CAD) and Royal Malaysia Police's Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) worked together to provide timely information which helped investigators in identifying the suspects.

Six other female suspects in Singapore were also investigated by CAD while the arrests were ongoing. They were investigated for their role in transferring criminal proceeds to their accomplices in Malaysia. "Online scams are increasingly complex and transnational in nature," CAD director David Chew told Asia One.

"To the criminals who think that they could hide behind the cloak of anonymity provided by the Internet to perpetrate fraud, we want to send a deterrent message that crime does not pay," he added.