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Singapore police crack down on illegal SIM card trade, arresting suspects

Singapore Police Force conducted a two-day operation, arresting four men, aged 25 to 44, suspected of illicit SIM card activities.

Simultaneous raids on mobile phone shops revealed a network pre-registering postpaid SIM cards using others’ information. Such cards are exploited for illegal activities.

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SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) conducted a successful two-day island-wide operation on 12 and 13 October 2023, resulting in the arrest of four men aged between 25 and 44.

These individuals are under suspicion for their involvement in the unauthorized access of computer systems housing registration data for postpaid SIM cards, subsequently exploiting this information to pre-register postpaid SIM cards.

Furthermore, six men and three women, ranging in age from 23 to 57, are currently cooperating with authorities to aid in the ongoing investigations, as confirmed by a police statement.

The investigation revolves around the unlawful sale of fraudulently registered SIM cards to customers desiring anonymity.

In response to these allegations, the Anti-Scam Command executed coordinated raids on eight mobile phone shops across Singapore, specifically in Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands, Admiralty, Beach Road, Selegie Road, and Indus Road.

This operation resulted in the apprehension of the four main suspects and the detention of the other nine individuals to facilitate the inquiry.

The perpetrators are believed to have engaged in the illicit practice of pre-registering postpaid SIM cards using the personal information of unwitting individuals, including their own customers or foreign nationals, offering these SIM cards for sale to those seeking to conceal their identities, as detailed by the police.

During the operation, police also confiscated a variety of items such as mobile phones and SIM cards.

sim card

evidence of the crime (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

 

These illicitly registered SIM cards are commonly exploited for clandestine communication purposes, including unlicensed moneylending, scams, and vice-related activities, underscoring the significance of the police’s actions in addressing these issues.

The police emphasize that criminal syndicates often utilize these SIM cards to contact potential victims and communicate amongst themselves while evading detection.

In light of these transgressions, those found guilty of such offences may face fines of up to S$10,000 (US$7,300) and imprisonment for up to three years.

The offence of unauthorized computer material modification under Section 5(1) of the Computer Misuse Act 1993 carries penalties including fines and imprisonment, as per the police.

Similarly, the act of illegally obtaining personal information under Section 416A of the Penal Code 1871 is subject to the same penalties, as confirmed by law enforcement.

The Singapore Police Force remains committed to taking a stern stance against individuals engaged in illegal activities and will continue to enforce measures against mobile phone retailers who may indirectly facilitate these unlawful acts.

Those involved in such illicit endeavours will be held accountable in accordance with the law.

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The ultimate game is the control and monopoly of information.

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