SINGAPORE, May 16 — The alleged masterminds behind a syndicate that defrauded social carpooling service GrabHitch of more than S$41,800 (RM127,507) were charged in court yesterday.
Chua Wei Beng, 21, Ryan Wong Wei Zhi, 19, and Kenneth Ho Hong Wei, 22, were each charged with one count of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat GrabTaxi Holdings, which owns the GrabHitch service.
The full-time national servicemen (NSFs) are accused of making 314 fraudulent transactions on a GrabHitch account between March and April, resulting in a payment of S$563.
They are now out on a S$15,000 bail each and will return to court on June 12. If convicted, they could be jailed up to 10 years and fined for each charge.
The police said on Tuesday that they arrested seven other people, aged 19 to 29, for their alleged roles in the payment fraud. Another four individuals — three men and a woman — are assisting with investigations.
On April 17, ride-sharing firm Grab filed a police report after discovering irregularities in some of its drivers’ GrabHitch accounts.
Between February and April this year, it detected at least 13 driver accounts with more than 2,000 fraudulent transactions, the police said. It is not known how these occurred.
A spokesperson from Grab told TODAY: “We take fraud seriously and have worked closely with the police on this matter.
“Providing a safe and secure platform for our users, driver-partners and merchants is a top priority for us, and we will continue to invest in technologies to fight fraud and safeguard our platform.”
Separately, Chua faces two other charges of causing hurt and being a member of an unlawful assembly.
Along with two other young men, he allegedly punched and kicked another 25-year-old man several times on his face and body at Tampines West Community Club on May 15, 2015.
He is also accused of being in an unlawful assembly with seven others, aged 17 to 23, on April 25, 2016 at Block 606, Bedok Reservoir Road. — TODAY