‘Internet Love Scam’ ring busted

Kai Fong

An online love syndicate which extorted over S$100,000 from unsuspecting individuals was busted on Tuesday. (AFP file photo)

Police have busted an "Internet Love Scam" ring that extorted over S$100,000 from victims.

In a statement released on its Facebook page on Tuesday night, police said the suspects of the online syndicate would first persuade victims to appear naked in front of a webcam before threatening to circulate the video footage if the victim did not give them money.

According to Channel NewsAsia, the case was first made known to the police on Sunday after a 22-year-old man lodged a report.

The alleged victim claimed that a woman whom he befriended in an internet chat room last May had persuaded him to undress fully in front of the webcam.

After recording the footage without his knowledge, the woman threatened to circulate it online if he did not transfer money to her. The man eventually agreed, CNA reported.

The amount he had to give totalled up to S$97,000 over a period of nine months. More than 80 transactions were made to various bank accounts provided by several other suspects.

Police arrested the suspects — three men and three women aged between 17 and 47 — on separate occasions on Tuesday.

CNA also revealed that the suspects extorted a total of S$100,000 after they conned at least four others.

Two of them, a 22-year-old man and a 17-year-old woman, will be charged on Wednesday for an offence of Extortion with Common Intention.

Investigations are still ongoing. If convicted, the suspects could be jailed up to seven years and caned.