2 men, 21 & 25, allegedly faked kidnap of 2 S'pore victims who also lost S$445,000 in China official scam

The two men allegedly facilitated the staged kidnappings.

Fiona Tan | January 21, 2024, 01:49 PM



The Singapore Police Force (SPF) have arrested two men, aged 21 and 25, for their suspected involvement in China officials impersonation scams.

Image by Singapore Police Force.

The two men are suspected of facilitating the scam victims' staged kidnappings, such as booking the locations where the victims were supposedly held hostage, demanding ransom, and wielding a knife to make the staged kidnappings more convicing.

As a result, the victims lost a total of around S$445,000 to the scammers.

19-year-old woman's case

According to SPF's Jan. 20, 2024 news release, as reported by CNA, the police received two separate reports on Jan. 17 about a 19-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man who had allegedly been kidnapped.

The 19-year-old woman received an unsolicited call, supposedly from an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer, on Oct. 31, 2023.

She was then routed to another scammer claiming to be a police officer from China, who allegedly told her that her particulars were used to sign up for a bank card involved in money-laundering activities in China.

SPF said the woman transferred over S$230,000 to the bank accounts of the "China Police" after she was allegedly told to hand over money for her bail to avoid arrest and deportation and to resolve the case.

She allegedly was also told to report to the "China Police" through video calls on her mobile phone five times daily, as part of supposed ongoing investigations.

In early January 2024, the scammer asked the woman to assist in investigations by recording a video of herself being tied up and pretending that she was captured.

She was allegedly told that the video would be used to spread scam awareness, and the scammer arranged for the video recording to be facilitated by the 25-year-old suspect.

The suspect allegedly acted in the staged kidnap scene where he pointed a kukri knife at the female victim to make the video more convincing.

Around a week later, the suspect allegedly also arranged a safehouse for the victim to isolate herself, as instructed by the scammer, and cease communication with others, including her parents, to facilitate investigations.

21-year-old man's case

Like the woman, the 21-year-old man received an unsolicited call, supposedly from an ICA officer, in early November 2023, when he was told that he had a Chinese mobile number that was associated with the spread of Covid-19-related rumours in China.

The man was then routed to another scammer claiming to be a police officer from China, who accused him of money-laundering activities.

The man reported to the “China Police” through messages and video calls over a messaging application on his phone five times a day to help with investigations.

On the scammer's instructions, he also transferred about S$215,000 to bank accounts provided by the scammer under the pretext that it was for bail.

The scammer similarly asked the male victim in early January 2024 to record a video of himself being tied up and pretending that he was captured, as part of "scam awareness education".

The 25-year-old suspect allegedly also facilitated in the man's staged kidnap, where he allegedly pointed a kukri knife and demanded ransom from the man, who sported bruises all over his body.

The scammer later told the man to isolate himself at a safehouse, where he was eventually found.

The safehouse was allegedly rented by the 21-year-old suspect.

Videos sent to parents to demand ransom

SPF said the two victims were unaware that the scammers had sent the supposed scam education videos to their parents, who were based in China, to demand a ransom.

Image by Singapore Police Force.

The victim's parents contacted their friends in Singapore, who in turn reported the incidents to the police.

The police subsequently tracked down the victims and found that they had fallen prey to China officials impersonation scams.

By then, both victims had lost a total of around S$445,000 to the scammers.


The police arrested the suspects 12 hours after the reports were made.

Police's preliminary investigations revealed that the two suspects had acted on the scammers’ instructions to book and rent units for the victims.

They also allegedly swapped the victims’ mobile phones with new mobile phones and SIM cards so that the victims could not be reached by anyone except the scammers.

The police seized case exhibits such as the kukri knife and the ropes used in the victims' videos.

Image by Singapore Police Force.

Police investigations are ongoing.

SPF reminded the public that overseas law enforcement agencies have no jurisdiction in Singapore. They cannot conduct operations, arrest anyone or request for assistance without approval from the Singapore government.

"The police take a serious view against any person who may be involved in scams, whether knowingly or unwittingly, and they will be dealt with firmly, in accordance with the law," it added.

Those found guilty of cheating can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

Those found guilty of possessing a scheduled weapon face can be jailed up to five years and given at least six strokes of the cane.

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Top image from SPF.