On 25 September 2020, 47-year-old Noorhudah Binte Sa’ad (“Noorhudah”) was sentenced to 22 months and 3 weeks’ imprisonment for her involvement in money laundering offences. She pleaded guilty and was convicted of the following offences:
- 8 counts under Section 47(3) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (“CDSA”), Chapter 65A, for acquiring property that she had reasonable grounds to believe, in whole, directly represented another person’s benefits from criminal conduct;
- 1 count under Section 47(3) of the CDSA read with Section 511 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, for attempting to acquire property that she had reasonable grounds to believe, in whole, directly represented another person’s benefits from criminal conduct; and
- 6 counts under Section 47(2)(b) of the CDSA for transferring and removing from jurisdiction property that she had reasonable grounds to believe, in whole, directly represented another person’s benefits from criminal conduct.
Another 20 counts under Section 47(3) of the CDSA and 15 counts under Section 47(2)(b) of the CDSA were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.
Investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department (“CAD”) showed that Noorhudah had acted as a money mule for her online lover named “Lucky Mentus” and a friend known to her as “Lynn” by receiving funds on their behalf. During the material time, Noorhudah was working as a cleaner in a hotel in Singapore. Lucky Mentus told Noorhudah that he needed a bank account in Singapore to receive loan repayments from his friends in Singapore, while Lynn explained that she required Noorhudah’s assistance to receive funds from her sister and her husband’s business partner. Noorhudah agreed to assist Lucky Mentus and Lynn despite suspecting that Lucky Mentus’ friends and Lynn’s husband could be scammers.
In February 2016, Noorhudah was investigated by Bedok Police Division for receiving a sum of SGD 5,000 derived from fraud in her UOB account. Despite this, subsequent investigations by CAD showed that Noorhudah continued to provide the same UOB account, and her DBS and OCBC account details to Lucky Mentus or Lynn to receive funds on their behalf. During that time, Noorhudah had also approached three of her colleagues to use their bank accounts to receive funds on behalf of Lynn.
Noorhudah would withdraw the funds received and hand the cash to contacts arranged by Lucky Mentus and Lynn either in Singapore or Malaysia. The total monetary loss, which was established to be derived from various business email compromise scams and internet love scams, amounted to approximately SGD 187,560 from December 2015 to September 2016.
Noorhudah also attempted to acquire a sum of SGD 41,000 from a victim of scam in October 2017 whilst under investigation by CAD. The victim was contacted by her friend named “Joanne”, whom she had befriended on a social media platform, informing that she required a bank account to receive a loan repayment. The victim then provided her husband’s bank account details to “Joanne” and was told to withdraw the funds and hand the cash to Noorhudah in Singapore. The transaction was foiled by the victim’s husband, who had lodged a police report on the matter as he felt that the arrangement was suspicious.
Any person who commits an offence under Section 47 of the CDSA shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding SGD 500,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or to both.
Money laundering offences are grave in nature as they facilitate the retention of benefits derived from serious crimes by the perpetrators of the predicate offences. There is a need to deter offenders from using Singapore’s financial system as a conduit for illicit funds as it affects Singapore’s reputation as an international financial centre.
Source: Singapore Police Force