SINGAPORE: Online romance lands man in trouble

Looking for a partner on a dating website, he thought he had found The One. He was so blinded by love that he gave his online lover his bank account number.

That was a big mistake as he is now being investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for money laundering.

Restaurant manager Ian (not his real name), 31, said he fell in love with the man whom he had met on the gay dating website in February. Ian said he was wooed by the man’s sweet words.

Over time, Jay (not his real name) earned his trust and Ian gave him his bank account number so he could transfer money into it as he wanted Ian to buy an iPhone for him.

Ian, who came here from a neighbouring country six years ago, said he visited the website almost every day to meet new people.

He said: “Jay and I only communicated via Yahoo messenger but we did this every day. Despite this, I have never heard his voice or seen him face-to-face.”

And when Ian asked to speak to Jay via platforms like Skype, Jay would say that there was something wrong with his computer.

Ian said that Jay had told him he is a Briton in his 40s and works as an engineer.

Said Ian: “He sent me his pictures and I thought that the guy in the pictures was very attractive. “From his messages, he seemed to be a sweet guy and after some time, he said that he was coming down to Singapore to visit me.

“I was very excited when I heard that.”

Ian said Jay had told him that he wanted to buy an iPhone in Singapore and needed Ian’s help to buy it for him.

“He said he He added that Jay later told him he was handling a construction project here and had asked if he could transfer some cash to Ian’s bank account.

Ian claimed that in March, another man known only as Steve, contacted Ian saying that Jay had given him Ian’s bank account number.

Ian said Steve told him some money would be transferred into his account but he was not told exactly how much.

On April 4, Ian received a shock when he discovered someone had transferred more than $82,000 into his bank account.

Transferred to other accounts

Ian said that Steve instructed him to transfer the money to other bank accounts, which he did.

He was told he could keep the remaining $2,400 as a reward. Ian felt relieved after he got rid of the $80,000.

would transfer some money to my bank account so I could buy the phone. So, I stupidly gave him my bank account number as I trusted him.”

But the money never came, said Ian.

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