Three men charged for alleged GrabHitch scam that swindled more than $41,000

Yahoo News Singapore file photo

SINGAPORE — The alleged masterminds of a syndicated payment scam involving carpooling service GrabHitch were charged in court on Wednesday (15 May).

Chua Wei Beng, 21, Kenneth Ho Hong Wei, 22, and Ryan Wong Wei Zhi, 19, were each charged with one count of engaging in a conspiracy with the other two to cheat Grab Holdings between April and May.

The trio, who are all national servicemen, are each accused of making 314 fraudulent transactions resulting in a payment of $5,653, and inducing Grab Taxi to make 314 fraudulent rides.

The charges follow a police report made by Grab Taxi Holdings on 17 April this year regarding irregularities in some of their drivers’ GrabHitch accounts.

Between February and April, Grab detected at least 13 driver accounts with more than 2,000 fraudulent transactions, amounting to more than $41,800 in losses.

On Monday, the Commercial Affairs Department conducted an operation and arrested nine men and a woman, aged between 19 and 29, related to the scam.

Another three men and a woman, aged between 20 and 28, are also assisting with investigations.

Chua and Wong said that they intend to engage their own lawyers. All three will return to court on 12 June.

If convicted of their charges, each may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.