After 16-hour police search, 'kidnapped' 24-year-old man in S'pore turns out to be scam victim

6 days ago 32

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A 24-year-old man, who was reported as a missing person, was recently found to be a victim of a China Official Impersonation Scam (COIS).

Mother received video of him bounded

On Sep. 8, the Singapore police received a report that 24-year-old James (not his real name) had allegedly been kidnapped.

James’ mother and a friend of his, both based in China, had received a video of the victim with his hands behind his back and legs bound together from an unknown person communicating in Mandarin.

Following the report, officers from Tanglin Police Division, Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department and Commercial Affairs Department were activated and conducted extensive investigations to locate him.

James was eventually found safe and sound on Sep. 9, after a 16-hour search, the police told the media.

How the scam unfolded

Speaking to the media, James said he had received an unsolicited call, purportedly from a Ministry of Health (MOH) officer, in mid-August 2022.

The scammer first alleged that James had a parcel detained at the customs which contained illegal Covid-19 medicine. James was then routed to another scammer masquerading as “the China Police” for investigations.

The "China Police" purportedly instructed James to isolate himself and cease communication with others to facilitate their investigations.

At one point, the "China Police" also informed the 24-year-old that he was found to be part of an organ-trafficking syndicate.

In a bid to clear his name and help the "China Police" nab the scammers, James agreed to the request from the "China Police" to take a video of himself with his hands behind his back and legs bound, to appear as if he had been captured.

James was told that the video taken on Sep. 1 would be used for their investigations to lure and arrest the syndicate members.

The next day, the "China Police" informed him that his video had successfully helped them arrest some members.

Speaking to Mothership, he admitted that he was pretty pleased that he had helped the "police" catch criminals at that point in time.

However, that wasn't the end.

The "China Police" later told James that he was suspected to have leaked information ab...

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