15 months’ jail for man linked to phishing scams involving OCBC customers, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

15 months’ jail for man linked to phishing scams involving OCBC customers

A man linked to phishing scams that caused hundreds of OCBC Bank customers to lose around $12.8 million in total was sentenced to a year and three months’ jail on Feb 29.

In earlier proceedings, Jovan Soh Jun Yan, 21, admitted that he had worked with others to provide money laundering services.

Soh and his accomplices had sourced and provided control of bank accounts to various unknown people who are believed to be linked to overseas syndicates.

Some of these bank accounts were later used to receive and dissipate funds from multiple victims, including OCBC customers.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua had said that Soh’s group, comprising eight people, facilitated the dissipation of at least $599,407 in total from the scam victims.

On Feb 15, he pleaded guilty to three charges including being part of a money laundering operation and a member of an organised crime group.

Some of his accomplices, including Leong Jun Xian and Muhammad Khairuddin Eskandariah, were dealt with in court earlier.

Leong, who was 19 at the time of the offences, was ordered in 2022 to undergo reformative training for at least a year. Young offenders sentenced to reformative training are detained in a centre to observe a strict regimen that can include foot drills and counselling.

Khairuddin, who was then 20, was sentenced to probation in 2023.

Between Dec 8, 2021, and Jan 19, 2022, the police received 768 reports from OCBC account holders who had fallen prey to phishing scams perpetrated by unknown scammers.

Soh and his accomplices provided at least 16 bank accounts to the syndicates in Telegram group chats between December 2021 and February 2022.

The bank accounts then received nearly $600,000 from different scams, including those involving OCBC customers.

Soh’s group had received instructions from the unknown parties in multiple chat groups on Telegram.

Members of the group also used Telegram to communicate with one another.

Soh was a member of three chat groups and had sourced bank accounts from unknown people on the messaging platform.

He had also provided the bank account details to a syndicate in one of the chat groups.

His group worked for different people, including one known only as “William”, who promised Soh a salary of $3,000 a month.

William also promised him an additional $600 to $800 for each bank account he provided. Details about William and his case were not disclosed in court documents.

Soh’s offences came to light after police received the reports between December 2021 and January 2022.

Sixteen people, including him, were arrested soon after.

OCBC said in January 2022 that it had made full goodwill payouts to its customers affected by the scams.

COURT & CRIMEcrimemoney laundering