8 handphone shops raided for fraudulently registered SIM cards, 3 men arrested

Eight handphone shops in Whampoa, Toa Payoh, Woodlands, Tuas and Pioneer Road were raided by the Commercial Affairs Department in a 24-hour operation conducted on March 30 and 31.

Three men, aged between 24 and 31, were arrested for their suspected involvement in fraudulently registering postpaid SIM cards using customers’ particulars.

Eight men and three women, aged between 28 and 56, are assisting in investigations.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the handphone shop retailers had accessed the computer systems containing registration information for postpaid SIM cards. The retailers would purportedly pre-register SIM cards using particulars of others and sell them to customers who wanted to conceal their identities.

An assortment of paraphernalia such as handphones and SIM cards were seized during the operation.

Investigations are ongoing.

Criminals can exploit such fraudulently registered postpaid SIM cards as an anonymous channel of communications for unlicensed moneylending, scams and vice, among other illicit activities.

Scam syndicates have also been found to perpetrate their criminal activities using such postpaid SIM cards to contact victims and to communicate among themselves, so as to evade possible detection.

The offence of unauthorised modification of computer material carries a fine of up to $10,000, an imprisonment term not exceeding three years, or both.